Helsinki, FinlandNow, that is what you call timing. Tatyana Tomashova repeated the feat of the great Algerian Hassiba Boulmerka from a decade ago by becoming only the second woman to win two 1500m titles and the first to retain it at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics.
But the manner she did it was all the more amazing.
The brilliant Russian, who finished second behind Great Britain's Kelly Holmes in last year's Olympic Games, has not had a great season and her team-mate Yuliya Chizkenko was arguably the more likely winner entering the final on her form here.
But in a superb finish, as Chizhenko looked like she was going to take the gold, Tomashova dug deep and powered through to repeat her victory from Paris two years ago. Boulmerka achieved her success in 1991 and 1995 but Tomashova's winning time of 4:00.35 was a season's best and what an occasion to do that.
She never made much of a mark during the race, but when she did after Chizhenko and Olga Yegorova pushed through, it led to a Russian cleansweep, which was later over turned.**
A year ago, Holmes was always in control in Athens and the best that Tomashova could have hoped for was silver which she won.
But this time, she was the champion again - and she said it was nothing to do with team tactics.
"We didn't have any tactics in our team so I didn't know what the others were doing," insisted Tomashova. "However, we knew we all had a chance to be in the very top. We are so strong at the moment.
"The speed was quite fast but there wasn't changes of speed. I was saving my speed until the final straight. At that moment I wasn't sure of winning but I was feeling very good.
"I have had some little injury problems during this season and we were preparing for these games very seriously."
"When I won in Paris I didn't realise that until I was back home. Now I think I am a little bit more used to it."
Chizhenko added: "I wanted to win but just 50 metres to go I felt I didn't have enough power to do so. Yes there was some pushing at the back straight but it was absolutely not planned. I was running my own race."
"I would have more sunny weather, but I am not complaining. The sweep feels great. That hasn't been possible for a long time."
It was Tomashova’s time though.
Holmes decided not to run here and though she had not really made her mark during the rounds, Tomashova saved the best for last.
It was a strange race, with no one really setting a great pace until with about 600m to go when France’s Bouchra Ghezielle took it on, and she eventually was rewarded for that initiative.**
But it was Russia’s day and for Tomashova, one she will remember for a long time.
Samuel Peters for the IAAF
JURY OF APPEAL DECISION – 1500m Women Final
Following the Final of the 1500m Women, a protest was submitted by the Bahrain Team, claiming that Russian athlete Yuliya CHIZHENKO (bib number 623) obstructed Maryam Yusuf JAMAL (BRN).
After examining the video of the race, the Jury of Appeal accepted the protest, judging that the Russian athlete jostled the Bahrain athlete in a manner that significantly impeded her progress and should be disqualified under Rule 163.2.
Yuliya CHIZHENKO is consequently disqualified and the bonze medal will be awarded to Bouchra GHEZIELLE (FRA) who had originally finished fourth.