31 AUG 2003 Report

Event Report Women 1500m Final

The women's 1500m final started exactly as expected. It was the world leader Süreyya AYHAN (TUR), who went to the lead straight from the gun.

However, the top runners stayed relatively close to the Turk and she didn't build much of a lead as she has done in many races in the past. At 600m Yelena ZADOROZHNAYA (RUS), took control of the race with Ayhan dropping back to second place. The Russian lead through 800m in a fast pace for a major championships, 2:06.76.
 
Even after 800m the pace stayed at a good clip and there were plenty of runners with a chance of winning the race. Although the 1500m was expected to be just a pleasure cruise for Ayhan, reality could not have been more different. Ayhan was pushing very hard, but with one lap to go the others were still following closely.
 
As the last lap started it was again Zadorozhnaya who went sprinting ahead, with Ayhan getting stuck in the middle of the pack. However, just when everyone thought the race was over for the Turk, she suddenly sprinted past the others from the inside, with 320 metres to go. Down the back straight the race looked very straight forward for Ayhan, with her final kick the pack spread very quickly and just a few hung with the favourite.
 
Ayhan gained a few metres immediately after the start of her surge, but with 200 metres to go, her lead was still not substantial. 180m before the finish line, long haired Russian Tatyana TOMASHOVA, started her final sprint and immediately started to catch the leader. With 40 metres to go, Tomashova overtook Ayhan to take the gold medal with a championship record of 3:58.52, in one of the biggest surprises of these world championships.
 
Ayhan was second in 3:59.04, and a close tussle saw Hayley TULLETT (GBR) pick up a surprise bronze medal with a personal best of 3:59.95. Yekaterina ROZENBERG (RUS) just lost the quick finish to take fourth place in 4:00.59. Kenyans Jackline MARANGA and Naomi MUGO were fifth and sixth respectively with seasonal bests of 4:01.64 and 4:02.33.

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