31 AUG 2003 Report Algerian Djabir SAID

Event Report Men 800m Final

Algerian Djabir SAIDGUERNI dipped his way to the men's 800m World title, winning the gold medal ahead of Russia's Yuriy BORZAKOVSKIY in a perfectly timed lunge for the line.
 
With Danish world record holder and three-time world champion, Wilson KIPKETER out in front in the early stages, the pack cruised effortlessly through the first 300m. Said-Guerni and the two South Africans, Hezekiel SEPENG and Mbulaeni MULAUDZI were well positioned just behind Kipketer.
 
As they headed down the straight to split 52.46, Borzakovskiy, the 2001 world indoor champion who normally runs at the back for most of the race, made his move. Having been two strides behind at the 600m mark, he started to kick with 450m to go.
 
As he picked up the front-running Kipketer in the middle of the back straight, the two went stride for stride until the bend when Kipketer seemed to take his foot off the gas.
 
The Russian started to pull ahead while the South Africans and Said-Guerni chased.
 
Coming into the home straight it looked like Borzakovskiy would win comfortably but Said-Guerni, the Olympic bronze medallist, started to close the gap. Under pressure, Borzakovskiy began to overstride and overbalance. He desperately tried to stay on his feet and with his arms flailing, Said-Guerni ducked passed in the last stride to win in 1:44.81. Borzakovskiy stopped the clock in 1:44.84 before falling to the track.
 
Mulaudzi, the second fastest in the world this year, was closing quickly on Borzakovskiy and finished in 1:44.90, just a few centimetres short of the silver medal.
 
Kipketer, the European champion, finished out of the medals in fourth place with 1:45.23.