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Meadows surges to bronze in 800m

ATHLETICS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Venue: Olympic Stadium, Berlin Date: 15-23 August
Coverage: Watch the action live and highlights on BBC Two, BBC HD, Red Button, Radio 5 live and the BBC Sport website (video for UK users only)
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Jenny Meadows

Jenny Meadows takes bronze in Berlin

Great Britain's Jenny Meadows judged her finish to perfection to claim a bronze medal in the 800m final at the World Championships in Berlin.

Meadows came into the final straight in sixth place but, as the early pace took its toll, the 28-year-old finished strongly to claim third on the line.

South Africa's Caster Semenya - the subject of pre-race controversy over a possible gender test - claimed gold.

Janeth Jepkosgei of Kenya just held off Meadows to take silver.

After the race, Meadows said she felt she could have done even better but was satisfied with bronze.

"Finishing strongly has become my strength, that is the way I have changed over the past couple of years," said the Wigan athlete, whose time of 1 mins 57.93secs is the third fastest British mark in history behind double Olympic champion Kelly Holmes and Kirsty Wade.

I wanted to make the final here to have a realistic chance of a medal in London... it's just come three years early

Jenny Meadows

"I thought a medal was up for grabs as long as I kept my composure. I did. I was actually gutted I didn't get silver in the end, but a medal is a medal at the end of the day and I really can't complain.

"It's a dream come true, it was amazing getting the flag and seeing my family and a lot of the GB supporters around there.

"I could tell each and every one of them were genuinely thrilled for me.

"I can't believe I got the bronze. I wanted to make the final here to have a realistic chance of a medal in London. It's just come three years early."

Meadows admitted that a disappointing show at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing left her wondering if she would ever break through at the top level but a new-found mental strength had led to an improvement.

"This year I've trained quite a lot psychologically, I used to get to finals and look at all the other girls and what they were doing," she added.

"I knew I was really fit and healthy and the only thing that let me down was my head went.

"I was really strong, I didn't panic, I didn't want to be at the front. As long as I was just a couple of metres away from the leaders with 150 metres to go I felt quite confident.

"Last year after Beijing, with the times those girls were running, I asked myself the question, 'Am I ever going to make a final?'.

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"This year I've just not panicked and just took every race as it comes and learnt about myself a lot more. Not to go off too fast, just run my pace, be confident that I can come through."

In the hours leading up to the race, all the talk was centred on Semenya following claims by the International Association of Athletics Federations that the teenager was the subject of a gender verification test.

The 18-year-old, who burst onto the scene earlier this year, seemed unaffected by all the speculation as she left her rivals trailing to win by 2.5 seconds from 2007 champion Jepkosgei in a time of one minute, 55.45 seconds, the fastest time of the year.

However, Semanya was rushed past the awaiting media by officials after celebrating her victory.

"It's up to the IAAF to sort it out," said Meadows. "You can't do anything about who is out there.

"There's just eight people on the track and you just have to make sure you're in the first three to get a medal."



see also
Semenya told to take gender test
19 Aug 09 |  Athletics
Athletics World Champs photos
18 Aug 09 |  Athletics
Bolt storms through to 200m semis
18 Aug 09 |  Athletics


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