News11 Mar 2001

Women 800 metre final


Women 800m Final

The muchanticipated "clash of the titans" lived up to the hype, with Steffi Graf and Maria Mutola battling it out down the length of the final straight in the women's 800m final. The Mozambican won, but it needed a photo-finish to separate the runners -1:59.74 to 1:59.78.

As a native Portuguese speaker, Mutola, got a huge roar of approval as she tried to claw back the gap on her perennial rival Graf around the final circuit.

Graf had taken the lead from the gun, going through the first 200m in 28.38, but it was the Czech Helena Fuchsova who then took the initiative, dragging Graf, Mutola and Yelena Afanasyeva (RUS) through 400m (59.99) and 600m (1:30.47). But soon after the final bell, Graf burst into the lead, opening up a gap of three metres on Mutola. Still leading around the final bend, Graf looked like she was heading for gold, until Mutola edged past just before the finish line. Mutola's last 200m was timed at 28.64, with Graf clocking 29.18 for the final circuit. Fuchsova, who held off Lwiza Msyani John's late charge, won bronze with 2:01.18.