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Last Updated: Friday, 27 August, 2004, 08:45 GMT 09:45 UK
Korzeniowski seals hat-trick
Robert Korzeniowski crosses the 50km walk finishing line in Athens
Poland's Robert Korzeniowski captured a record third consecutive men's 50km walk gold medal - the fourth Olympic title of his career - on Friday.

The 36-year-old, who also made history in Sydney when he became the first to claim the 20-50km walk double, won in three hours 38 minutes 46 seconds.

World record holder Denis Nizhegorodov, of Russia, faded over the final 15km and took the silver in 3:42.50.

Another Russian - Aleksey Voyevodin made a late bid for bronze in 3:43.34.

Three-time world champion Korzeniowski had been part of a four-man group that was clear at the half-way mark.

At 30km he and Australia's Nathan Deakes put on a spurt and opened up a 50m gap.

But around the 33km mark Deakes was disqualified and the Pole was left out on his own.

Deakes admitted initially when he had seen the three marks against his name that he had walked on with Korzeniowski hoping the judges had made a mistake - but when he saw one of them approaching him he knew it was game over.

"I turned to Robert and said I've been disqualified and he replied 'bad luck'," Deakes said.

"I replied 'I hope you win'.

"I felt devastated at first as I believed that I had a genuine chance of winning - I just don't understand how you can go through the 20km race without a warning and then pick up three in this one.

"I didn't exactly want to be standing here in the stadium this early! I thought I would be on the top of the podium instead.

"Still I can hold my head high as I have won a bronze at the Olympics and can look forward to the world championships in Helsinki next year."





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