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Kenya's Langat Wins Women's 1500m Gold
    2008-08-23 20:21:44     Xinhua

Kenya's Nancy Jebet Langat won the women's 1,500 meters gold medal at the Beijing Olympic Games on Saturday, winning Kenya's first gold medal in the women's 1500 meters.

The 27-year-old, who celebrated her 27th birthday on Friday, clocked her personal best of four minutes and 0.23 seconds for the gold. Ukraine's Iryna Lishchynska took the silver in 4:01.63 and her compatriot Nataliya Tobias won the bronze in 4:01.78.

In the first 400 meters, the race was led by Russia's Anna Alminova and Iryna Lishchynska of Ukraines, the bronze medalist of the 2007 world championship.

Maryam Yusuf Jamal of Bahrain, the world champion soon caught up with the top echelon and overtook them to spearhead. Langat was trailing them behind.

When Jamal seemed to be assured of the gold as 1,200 meters had been covered, Langat dramatically kicked and widened the gap with the world champion. Jamal, exhausted as she was, was overtaken by Lishchynska and her fellow Tobias, and lost her chance to win a medal.

"I'm very proud I was able to win a gold medal. I was not expecting it that much. It makes me feel very great," said the champion who advanced to the final as the top qualifier.

"I feel so lucky to win a silver. I'm so excited that I performed so well today in the Olympics. I sacrificed a lot for this event. Second place in the Olympic Games is beautiful," said Lishchynska.

"Finally, the race is over. I could have run even faster. However, I was a little bit affected by today's weather. It's hot today. I'm feeling really tired. All I want to do is to have a rest as soon as possible," said the bronze medalist.

Jamal finished fifth with 4:02.71.



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