Russia’s Mariya Savinova took Olympic gold in the women’s 800 meters final Saturday, edging out South Africa’s Caster Semenya as bronze also went to Russia.
Savinova, the reigning world champion, ran a time of 1 minute 56.19 and, while there was none of the record-breaking pace shown in the men’s final when Kenya’s David Rudisha smashed his own world record, there was plenty of drama.
Kenya’s Pamela Jelimo, the Olympic champion in 2008, turned on the pace too early and ended up fourth as Savinova, Semenya and third-placed Ekaterina Poistogova all passed her.
Savinova won by over a second from Semenya, with Poistogova edging out Jelimo in the final ten meters.
Czechoslovakian runner Jarmila Kratochvilova’s 29-year-old world record of 1.53.28 easily remained intact.