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World Championships 2007
25 August - 2 September

Christine Ohuruogu, Nicola Sanders, Marilyn Okoro and Lee McConnell
The British team wiped almost two seconds off the previous national record
Great Britain claimed their fifth medal of the World Championships with bronze in the final of the women's 4x400m relay in Osaka.

The team of Christine Ohuruogu, Marilyn Okoro, Lee McConnell and Nicola Sanders finished third in a new national record time of three minutes, 20.04 seconds.

They were helped by a superb final leg of 48.8 secs from Sanders, who overtook Russian Natalya Antyukh with 10m left.

Favourites the United States won in 3:18.55 while Jamaica secured silver.

Ohuruogu led off with a strong opening leg to hand Okoro a narrow lead, but US 200m winner Allyson Felix stormed through the second leg to open up a decisive lead as GB slipped down to fourth.

Britain remained fourth when McConnell handed over to Sanders, but the individual silver medallist powered off the final bend to edge out Russia.

"These girls did brilliantly and kept me within reach," said Sanders. "I knew the Russian tired at the end of the individual 400m, I just had to be in touch and go for it on the home straight."

The men's team of Andrew Steele, Robert Tobin, Richard Buck and Martyn Rooney finished sixth in the men's 4x400m relay final.

They suffered a disaster at the start of the third as Buck, only moments after receiving the baton from Tobin, stumbled after colliding with Germany's Kamghe Gaba.

Buck was able to stay on his feet, but fell behind the leaders.

The American quartet of LaShawn Merritt, Angelo Taylor, Darold Williamson and Jeremy Wariner claimed gold in 2:55.56, the leading time in the world this year.

The Bahamas were second, with Poland claiming bronze.

I thought this is my big chance so I've got to try, but I died a bit after that

Mara Yamauchi

In the marathon, Britain's Mara Yamauchi finished ninth as Kenya's Catherine Ndereba claimed gold.

Yamauchi, who lives in Japan, was in contention with just six miles to go but fell away to finish in two hours 32 minutes and 55 seconds.

Ndereba broke clear in the last two miles to beat China's Chunxiu Zhou and Japan's Reiko Tosa in 2:30.37.

Yamauchi succeeded in reducing the leading pack from 20 to nine with an injection of pace at the 18-mile mark.

But the 34-year-old soon got overtaken by her more experienced rivals. Her ninth was, however, an improvement on her 18th place in Helsinki in 2005.

"The men's race was decided right at the end so I thought I had to keep something in reserve," said Yamauchi.

"I thought this is my big chance so I've got to try, but I died a bit after that."

Blanka Vlasic
Vlasic celebrates one of her clear jumps with a dance for the crowd

Britain's Tracey Morris, who is on the comeback trail after knee surgery, finished 19th in two hours, 36 minutes and 40 seconds.

"I tried to put it all into this one day," said Morris, who finished comfortably.

Briton Paula Radcliffe did not defend her title because of a back injury.

Briton Mo Farah was sixth in the 5,000m final, with Bernard Lagat winning gold.

Farah, 24, led with 400m remaining at the Nagai Stadium but was unable to maintain the pace as a slow race came down to a sprint finish.

"It is a little bit disappointing but I hope to learn from this," Farah told BBC Sport. "I thought there was a chance of a medal but in the last 50m my legs just went."

Lagat sprinted past Eliud Kipchoge of Ethiopia on the home straight to win in 13 minutes, 45.87 seconds and claim the first 1500m/5,000m World Championships double.

"It is a dream come true," Lagat told BBC Sport. "I did not want to think about the 5,000m before the 1,500m but after it was over, I kept my focus.

"I have been unwell but I did not want to tell anyone about it. I never let it get to me and I was fine for the final."


Uganda's Moses Kipsiro won bronze.

Croatia's Blanka Vlasic had little trouble in claiming gold in the women's high jump, clearing a height of 2.05m.

The 23-year-old has been in superb form this year and has now won 12 of her 13 competitions outdoors.

Russia's Anna Chicherova and Italy's Antonietta Di Martino tied for second with jumps of 2.03m.

Kenya's Alfred Kirwa Yego chased down Canada's Gary Reed in a sprint finish to take 800m gold.

Yego dipped at the last possible moment to finish just ahead of Reed in one minute, 47.09 seconds.

Olympic champion and two-time world championships silver medallist Yuri Borzakovsky of Russia took bronze.

Maryam Jamal secured Bahrain's first gold medal of the championships with victory in the women's 1,500m final.

The Ethiopian-born athlete overtook Russian pacesetter Yelena Soboleva with a half lap to go and held her off over the final stages to win in 3:58.75. Iryna Lishchynska of the Ukraine was third.

Finland also won their first gold of the event after Tero Pitkamaki claimed the men's javelin.

He set a mark of 90.33m to defeat Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway while American Breaux Greer was third.



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