Greek pulls off victory in 20-km walk

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:08 IST

Athanasia Tsoumeleka of Greece pulled off a surprising victory in front of her adoring home country fans.

Athens :

Athanasia Tsoumeleka of Greece pulled off a surprising victory in front of her adoring home country fans winning the gold medal in the women's 20-km walk. The 22-year-old Greek held off Olimpiada Ivanova of Russia to win in a personal best 1 hour, 29 minutes, 12 seconds. Ivanova, the event's 2001 world champion and former world record holder, finished four seconds behind the winner to earn the silver medal. Jane Saville of Australia, disqualified in Sydney four years ago after leading as she approached the stadium, took the bronze in 1:29.25. Ivanova attempted to pass Tkoumeleka just outside the stadium, pulling almost even, but she had to fall back. The sparse crowd gathered for the morning session erupted in cheers as Tsoumeleka entered Olympic Stadium. After crossing the finish line, she grabbed a Greek flag and displayed proudly for the crowd. It was the first medal of the track and field competition for the home country. Tsoumeleka, who was seventh at last year's world championships, knelt down with the flag over her shoulder and kissed the track. As she rounded the track in a victory celebration, she received a big hug from Greek decathlete Prodromos Korkizoglu, who was preparing to compete in the long jump portion of his event. (AP)

Topics : Athletics
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