Womens 1500m final: Tomashova triumphs again


Tatyana Tomashova and Yuliya Chizhenko continued the dominance of Russias women in Göteborg by taking the gold and silver medals in the 1500m. The Russians were only denied a clean sweep by the strength of the Bulgarian Daniela Yordanova who overtook the third Russian, Yelena Soboleva, in the finishing straight.
We worked on my speed in preparation and I improved my 400m time and that helped me a lot in the finish, said Tomashova, the world 1500m champion. This is my first gold in a European championships and though I am also world champion, this is special.

The Russians set out their stall early. Chizhenko jumping off into the lead, with Soboleva and Tomashova in close attendance. The pace was fast enough to immediately stretch the field out in crocodile fashion. And thats how it stayed for two laps, with the first 400m run in 1:02.98, and the 800m metre-mark reached in 2:08.12.

Only as the leaders hit the curve with 600m to go was there any change in the tempo. At that point, the Russians slowed the pace slightly, as if drawing breath before the final lap. The pause, such as it was, did not last long. Having made all the pace, Chizhenko might have been viewed as the hare for her teammates, but that clearly was not the case.

Chizhenko made her break approaching the bell and instantly put five metres between herself and her teammates. Soboleva could not respond at all, but Tomashova set off in pursuit and gradually wore down her compatriot. She passed Chizhenko in the home straight and won in 3:56.91. Not surprising, given the Russians tactics, it was a championship record.

Chizhenko was second in 3:57.61 and the Bulgarian Yordanova third in 3:59.37. Soboleva came home in fourth, but no other athlete was ever in contention. Polands Lidia Chojecka ran 4:01.43, a seasons best, to finish fifth place. Yet, except for one brief moment around the 1000m-mark, she could never get close the Russians.
Romanias Corina Dumbravean (4:02.24) in sixth and Ukraines Nataliya Tobias (4:02.71) in seventh were both dragged to lifetime bests.

By Peter Nichols
RusAthletics - Russian Athletics

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