16 JUL 2004 General News

Women's 800m Final

Natalya Koreyvo of Belarus upset the form book with the performance of her life today to win gold in the 800m final, taking more than four seconds off her personal best to run 2:01.48, a new national junior record.

The race began with Jamaica’s Kay-Ann Thompson forcing the pace ahead of the Russian Mariya Shapaeva, and by the 300 metre mark there was a leading group of five, incluing two Romanians, Larisa Arcip and Simona Barcau, and Koreyvo.

At the bell, reached in 58.95 with Thompson still leading, the fight was on for the podium, and the first to attack was Simona Barcau, but the Belarus athlete sprinted to the front just as the athletes entered the straight, easing clear as Barcau managed to get past Thompson for silver with just 50 metres left to run.

Barcau clocked 2:02.23, a new personal best, with Thompson setting a new Jamaican junior record of 2:02.67 to gain a well justified bronze. Although she faded out of medal contention, Shapaeva set a personal best of 2:02.87 in fourth.

Two athletes who had fallen in the semis but were then reinstated for the final, Elodie Guegan (FRA) and Laura Finucane (GBR), made no impression on the race, despite being amongst the favourites on paper. Guegan finished fifth with 2:03.68 and the Briton only seventh in 2:05.69, almost two seconds off her personal best set earlier this summer.

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