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Wednesday, 27 September, 2000, 12:32 GMT 13:32 UK
Novice Privalova takes gold
Irina Privalova enjoyed a successful career at 200m
Irina Privalova enjoyed a successful career at 200m
Russian novice 400m hurdler Irina Privalova set a season's best time to run away with the Olympic title on Wednesday.

In her first season competing in the event, 31-year-old Privalova got her 14-stride between the hurdles pattern absolutely spot-on and made winning the gold medal look easy.

It was only her fifth ever 400m hurdles competition and she easily beat off the challenge of the reigning Olympic champion Deon Hemmings of Jamaica who posted a time of 53.57.

World champion Nezha Bidouane, of Morocco, won the bronze medal in 53.57.

Natasha Danvers of Great Britain almost equalled her personal best but came in last in 55.00 seconds.

After the race she said: "I think it was fun but most people would say its very nerve-wracking.

"The important thing is performing when it matters and it's been hard coming her off the back of a full collegiate season.

"I think to run 55 seconds dead, when it was such a technical shambles, which is what I would describe it as, was not bad and shows there is more to come."

Privalova, who has enjoyed a successful career at 200m, stole the limelight throughout the competition.

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See also:

24 Sep 00 |  Athletics-Track
Weather takes its toll on hurdlers
24 Sep 00 |  Athletics-Track
British duo through in 400m hurdles
20 Sep 00 |  Athletics-Track
Gunnell on medal prospects
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