Kenya's Langat leaves favourites behind, wins 1500m crown
Posted on: 05:50 PM IST Aug 23, 2008
Beijing: Kenya's Nancy Jebet Langat outpaced reigning world champion Maryam Yusuf Jamal and the rest of the field to claim Olympic gold in the women's 1500m final on Saturday.
The relatively unknown Kenyan, who turned 27 on Friday, produced a strong final 300 meters to win in a time of 4min 00.23sec.
Ukraine's Iryna Lishchynska, bronze medallist at last year's world championships in Osaka, was second in 4:01.63 with compatriot Nataliya Tobias third at 4:01.78.
Bahrain's Maryam Yusuf Jamal, the reigning world champion, was fifth.
The Ethiopian-born Jamal finished fifth after flagging badly in the final 50 metres, failing to emulate her Bahraini team-mate Rashid Ramzi, who won the men's 1500m earlier in the week.
Anna Alminova of Russia took the peloton out, with Langat, Lishchynska and Jamal perched in her slipstream.
Jamal bolted 100 meters before the bell sounded for the final lap and was tracked by Langat.
With 250 meters of the race to go, the Kenyan moved into pole position and as they hit the final straight, Jamal fell away as the Ukrainian duo raced past her.
But there was to be no catching the graceful Langat, who made it two middle-distance golds out of two for Kenya on Saturday after Wilfred Bungei had earlier claimed the men's 800m crown.