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Sunday, August 29, 1999 Published at 18:56 GMT 19:56 UK

Injury wrecks Backley medal bid

Reality begins to dawn on Steve Backley as another throw falls short

Steve Backley's hopes of adding another medal to his collection were dashed by injury as he finished eighth in the javelin.

Seville 99
Britain's former world record holder has been struggling with a knee problem - and it prevented him from producing his top form in the final.

He looked in with a outside chance of a medal early on and lay third after the first round with a throw of 83.84m.

But Backley, who is set for an operation on his injured knee, was unable to improve on that effort in the later rounds and was overhauled.

Flying Finn

Finland's Aki Parviainen took the gold medal with a fifth round effort of 89.52m.

In doing so he thwarted a Greek javelin double with Kostas Gatsioudis forced to settle for silver with his first round throw of 89.18m. His compatriot, Mirela Manjani-Tzelili, won the women's event on Saturday.

Two-time Olympic and world champion Jan Zelezny of the Czech republic, whose career seemed over after a freak training accident last year, returned to take the bronze with 86.87m.

But Backley refused to blame the injury for his disappointing display: "The knee did not really affect me. I gave the competition my best shot.

"I applied myself as best as I could and this could be a blessing in disguise. It will spur me on and give me more motivation for next year's Olympics."

Hat-trick for Kipketer

Wilson Kipketer won his third straight world title in the 800m, capping a comeback from an acute case of malaria in 1998.

[ image: Kipketer holds off a late challenge from Sepeng]
Kipketer holds off a late challenge from Sepeng
The Kenyan-born Dane, the world record-holder, overtook Hezekiel Sepeng on the final straight and held off a late lunge by the South African on the line to win in 1:43.30.

"I knew I was going to catch Sepeng," Kipketer said. "The only trouble was that time was running out and I didn't know if I would make it before the line."

Algeria's Djabir Said-Guerni third in 1:44.18.

Masterkova masterclass

Svetlana Masterkova of Russia shrugged off her disappointment in the 800m to claim the women's 1500m title in 3mins 59.53secs.

America's Regina Jacobs took the silver in 4:00.35 and Ethiopia's Kutre Dulecha claimed bronze with a time of 4:00.96.

The final field event title of the championships was settled when Inga Babakova of the Ukraine edged gold on count-back.

Babakova cleared 1.99m - the same height as Russian pair Yelena Yelesina and Svetlana Zalevskaya, who settled for second and third respectively.

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