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Jenny Meadows wins 800m silver at World Indoors

Russian Mariya Savinova beats Jenny Meadows
Mariya Savinova is delighted after battling past Jenny Meadows on the line

Jenny Meadows was pipped in the final straight of the 800m, taking silver at the World Indoor Championships.

Last year's world outdoor bronze medallist was beaten by Russian Mariya Savinova but still set a new British record in one minute 58.43 seconds.

The 4x400m GB men won a surprise relay bronze while the women were fifth.

Britain ended the championships in Doha with four medals after golds for pentathlete Jessica Ennis and sprinter Dwain Chambers won on Saturday.

Meadows said: "I think silver is fantastic. I tried to keep going until the finish line. It was a big challenge and the girls were enormously strong.

"When I saw the time I told myself that at least it was a personal best. With 100m to go I was thinking 'I am going to win it'. But this event is very different and the medal is special to me."


UK Athletics chief executive Charles Van Commenee predicted podium finishes for Meadows, Ennis, Chambers and in the men's 4x400m, but the relay bronze was achieved in somewhat fortunate circumstances.

The team, anchored by Richard Buck, were only fifth fastest in qualifying but came through in third behind the dominant Americans after the Jamaican and Bahamas quartets failed to finish because of injury.

The 28-year-old Meadows would have started the 800m final in buoyant mood after coming through qualifying with the fastest time.

In a keenly-contested final, American Alysia Johnson burst into the lead but after Meadows cruised past on the second lap it seemed Britain was set to secure a third gold of the championships.

However, Savinova, last year's European indoor champion and the only person to beat Meadows this year, finished with a late burst to clock this year's fastest time of 1:58.26s as Johnson picked up bronze.

Meadows, who broke Kelly Holmes' seven-year-old British 800m indoor record at the UK Indoor Grand Prix in February, can at least be satisfied with a new national record and personal best after trailing the Russian by 0.17s at the line.

Helen Clitheroe was Britain's first athlete in action on Sunday and finished eighth in a dramatic 1500m final as Ethiopia's Kalkidan Gezahegne, 18, edged out Spaniard Natalia Rodríguez and compatriot Gelete Burka.

Britain's 4x400m relay team
Britain's 4x400m relay team celebrate their bronze won on Sunday

Samson Oni (2.24m) could only make seventh in the high jump in a final won by Russian Ivan Ukhov with a height of 2.36m.

There was a major shock in the women's pole vault when Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva was fourth and out of the medals.

France's Teddy Tamgho overcame Cuba's Yoandris Betanzos to set a world record of 17.90m and become triple jump champion after beating the old mark shared by Sweden's Christian Olsson and Aliecer Urruta who leapt 17.83.

Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown was a shock 60m winner with the two-time Olympic 200m champion clocking a personal best of 7.00s to see off US Virgin Islander Laverne Jones-Ferrette and American Carmelita Jeter. British veteran Joice Maduaka failed to progress from the semis.

Brazil's Fabiana Murer won gold ahead of Russia's Svetlana Feofanova while Poland's world champion Anna Rogowska had to settle for bronze.

Olympic champion Dayron Robles of Cuba grabbed a new championship record of 7.34s to win the 60m hurdles after edging ahead of American favourite Terrence Trammell at the line.

Defending champion Liu Xiang of China finished seventh, still struggling with the ankle injury that has plagued him since he limped out of the Beijing Olympics two years ago.

Van Commenee insisted before the championships that the medal tally was "not a reflection of the state of the sport" but he will be moderately pleased with Britain's haul of four.

The Dutchman stated he was particularly interested in how high jumper Vicky Hubbard and long jumpers Greg Rutherford and Chris Tomlinson would perform.

All three failed to make the finals in Qatar which will be a concern. The next major event for Britain's athletes will be this summer's European Championships in Barcelona.

see also
World Indoor athletics photos
14 Mar 10 |  Athletics
Chambers upbeat on race invites
14 Mar 10 |  Athletics
Ennis & Chambers win gold in Doha
13 Mar 10 |  Athletics
World Indoor athletics photos
13 Mar 10 |  Athletics
Meadows earns World Indoors place
14 Feb 10 |  Athletics
Meadows breaks Holmes 800m record
20 Feb 10 |  Athletics
Where will records fall in Doha?
11 Mar 10 |  Athletics
Van Commenee laments Idowu loss
09 Mar 10 |  Athletics
Meadows surges to bronze in 800m
20 Aug 09 |  Athletics

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