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Arzhakova takes 800m gold in a dramatic finish

29.06.2012

Yelena Arzhakova of Russia took the women’s 800m gold with a time of 1:58.51 in a race which produced astonishing drama in the final straight, with Britain’s Lynsey Sharp who had been seventh at the bell passing runners all the way down the final 60 metres to take a silver medal in a personal best of 2:00.52 and match the achievement of her father Cameron, who won 200m silver at the 1982 European Athletics Championships in Athens.

Arzhakova may have beaten the favourite, but her victory was hardly a surprise given that her best 2012 time of 1:58.28 made her the second fastest runner here on this year's rankings.

Bronze went to Arzhakova's compatriot Irina Maracheva, who had arrived at these Championships as the favourite given her victory at the Russian Championships in a personal best of 1:57.82, a time which leads the European rankings and puts her fifth in the world this year.

"I'm so happy," said Arzhakova. "Everything went as planned. The only thing I didn't plan was to win the race, but I believed I could take a medal. I was really nervous before the race. I have been doing the 1500m, but in the Olympics I guess I'll run the 800m. At the moment I'm not really sure which one is my main distance."

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