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Soboleva strikes indoor gold in Spain

VALENCIA, Spain (AP) — Yelena Soboleva broke her own world record in winning the 1,500m title at the World Indoor Championships on Sunday.

The Russian finished in 3 minutes, 57.71 seconds to shave 0.34 seconds off her former mark, heading off compatriot Yuliya Fomenko (3:59.41) and Gelete Burka of Ethiopia (3:59.75).

It was the second time this winter that Soboleva improved on the record, earning her $90,000 for the title and record as she set the first new benchmark of any event at this year’s championships.

Maria Mutola missed out on a record eighth indoor gold medal, finishing third in the women’s 800m behind winner Tamsyn Lewis of Australia.

At 35 and running in her last indoor championships, Mutola ran a poor tactical race and let Lewis sweep past her on the inside with 300m to go.

Lewis won in 2 minutes, 2.57 seconds, edging Tetiana Petlyuk of the Ukraine by 0.09 seconds.

I should have done better, said Mutola, who finished in 2:02.97.

Lewis said she couldn’t get around the pack from the outside, so she made a move on the inside to win.

I got caught by surprise, Mutola said.

But no one was more surprised than Lewis, the 29-year-old who won her first major title.

I was just hoping to make the final. I did win, didn’t I? Lewis said. Maria is a star. I always wanted to get close to her.

Mutola, who won her first gold in 1993, retired from indoor competition after the race, but the Mozambique runner will now focus on winning a second Olympic gold in Beijing.

In the women’s 400m, Olesya Zykina of Russia won in 51.09 — just 0.01 second ahead of teammate Natalya Nazarova, with Shareese Woods of the United States third.

Nazarova won gold in the 4x400m relay for her seventh gold overall to tie Mutola.

In the last event, Blanca Vlasic of Croatia won her 22nd straight high jump competition, defeating Olympic champion Elena Slesarenko of Russia and Vita Palomar of the Ukraine.

Bryan Clay of the United States earlier won gold in the heptathlon after Olympic champion Roman Sebrle withdrew because of injury.

Clay opened with a win in the 60m and won three more events, scoring a personal best 6,371 points for his second world title.

He could have set a new points record by running under 2 minutes, 45.47 seconds in the final 1,000-meter event but struggled to a last-place time of 2:55.64 — still a season best.

Clay was pleased with the results after suffering serious illness — he recently dropped 12 pounds — and an injured hamstring.

If you had asked me two weeks ago if I would be here, I probably would have told you I wouldn’t be at this meet, said Clay, who was invited after failing to qualify. This just shows how well my training has been going.

The 28-year-old won the decathlon in Helsinki, Finland, in 2005.

In the men’s 400m, Tyler Christopher of Canada won in a world-leading 45.67 seconds, rushing past Johan Wissman of Sweden (46.04) and Chris Brown of the Bahamas (46.26).

Tariku Bekele earned his first major title by winning the men’s 3,000m from Paul Kipsiele Koech of Kenya and fellow Ethiopian Abreham Cherkos.
Soboleva strikes indoor gold in Spain – found here.

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March 9, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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