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World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade22

News16 Mar 2003

Women 800 Metres Final


Maria Mutola of Mozambique made indoor athletics history by becoming the first woman to win five world titles in an individual event with her 1:58.94 victory.

It was not the runaway win that many might have expected. 

Great Britain’s Jo Fenn held the lead from the start, with a constant, unshifting following group of Lisbon silver medallist Stephanie Graf of Austria, Mutola, and World Record holder Jolanda Ceplak of Slovenia.

Not until 130 metres remained was Mutola able to take the lead, as she moved outside and just ahead of Fenn.

The British athlete stubbornly stayed behind Mutola, as Mayte Martínez of Spain had meanwhile sprinted ahead of Ceplak.

Only with 50 metres remaining did Mutola’s victory appear certain.  

Behind her came the fight for the other medals, which was won by Graf (1:59.39), as Martínez (1:59.53) barely held off a last-gasp challenge by Ceplak (1:59.54).

For all of her slavish front-running, Fenn was rewarded with a fifth-place 1:59.95, with Russia’s Yekaterina Puzanova (2:00.86) never an integral part of the race.