12 MAR 2006 General News to

Women's 800m Final

tape performance, Maria Mutola showed the world why she is the greatest 800m runner of all-time after winning her seventh World Indoor title.

Mutola, who has claimed the last three straight titles, controlled the race from the outset en route to a 1:58.90 win, her fastest time of the year.

Despite several challenges, particularly from previous world season leader Olga Kotlyarova of Russia, no one could match the race brilliance of the 33-year-old Mozambican. Surprisingly it was Jamaican Kenia Sinclair who came closest. The 25-year-old former 400m sprinter, continued her coming out campaign with a runner-up finish, producing yet another national record of 1:59.54.

Hasna Benhassi, the reigning World and Olympic silver medallist, held on for third in 2:00.34, also a season's best.

Kotlyarova, who tried to get by Mutola just beyond the bell, faded to fifth to reach the line in 2:01.26, behind Elisbeth Grousselle of France (2:00.74).

BR