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Page last updated at 15:49 GMT, Sunday, 17 August 2008 16:49 UK

Galkina-Samitova bags 3000m gold

Gulnara Galkina-Samitova
Galkina broke her own world record to claim gold

Russia's Gulnara Galkina-Samitova powered to her first Olympic 3000m steeplechase gold in a world record time of eight minutes 58.81 seconds.

Kenya's Eunice Jepkorir took silver and Russian world champion Ekaterina Volkova claimed the bronze.

Galkina-Samitova led from the start, building an impressive 50m lead going into the last lap.

Pre-race favourite Volkova never threatened, falling well behind and only moving up late on to finish third.

Jepkorir finished in a time of nine minutes 07.41 seconds, with Volkova on nine minutes 07.64.

The 30-year-old Russian champion beat her own four-year-old world record to take gold as the event made its Olympic final debut.

Her victory, however, marked a major turnaround in fortunes, having finished a distant seventh at last year's world championships after returning to competition following a two-year absence.

"Last year I was empty," she said afterwards. "Last year was an unlucky one for me. I want to forget last year."

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Galkina-Samitova takes steeplechase gold

She attributed at least part of her victory to a lucky bouquet of flowers she received from 20km walking champion Valeriy Borchin earlier in the day.

"I will pass that lucky bunch of flowers onto someone else," she said.

Kenyan Jepkorir said the pace set by the champion was too much to handle.

"Galkina-Samitova took off with three laps to go," she said.

"I tried to push to my maximum to get in there but she was just too fast.

"The last three laps, the pace was too hard. I tried to catch up but it was just too long and she was too good."

The result reflected the continued domination of the event by Russians and Kenyans since its introduction to the international programme in 2005.

see also
Kipruto claims steeplechase gold
18 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Athletics results
17 Aug 08 |  Olympics

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