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General News 7 March

Men 800m final

Men 800m final

This was a thrilling race, with Germany’s Nico Motchebon taking the early initiative but losing out first to Johan Botha and then, in the last few strides, to world record holder Wilson Kipketer. Botha became the first South African man to win a world indoor title but it was a close thing - he crossed the line in 1:45.47 just two 100ths of a second ahead of Kipketer, with Motchebon fading to third in 1:45.74. Kipketer had paid the price for hesitancy, his late surge coming too late to ensure he retained his title.

The race call in Real Audio

Gold Medallist - BOTHA Johan (RSA)
"I have been winning all my races this year, so maybe I should have been the favorite. But now that I won it, it does not matter any more. It is my first indoor season ever, but now I will return home and run outdoors again. It has been hard work, so I will go and cry now."

Silver Medallist - KIPKETER Wilson (DEN)
"I'm now sure of what I am doing. I have confirmed to myself today that my training is on course. Now my mind and body are back as one and I can have the confidence to progress to the summer and greater goals in Seville. This race was so close today, it could have gone any way.
I am back!!!!"

Bronze Medallist - MOTCHEBON Nico (GER)
"Both Botha and I expected Wilson to take the lead but when he didn't I decided to pick the pace up. I knew I would lose the gold medal but I think that move saved me a medal altogether. I was originally planning to do to them what they did to me in the end! The 800m is very tactical and if the pace is very slow anything could happen. I didn't want to risk that."