Report23 Jan 2001

Kelly Holmes easy winner in 2001 debut


Kelly Holmes at the 2000 Olympic Games (© Getty Images)

Britain's Kelly Holmes after a couple of weeks hard training in South Africa won her first race of 2001 with a simple win in Rustenburg tonight.

The former Army sergeant who came back from a career threatening achilles injury to surprisingly capture the Olympic 1500 metres bronze medallist in Sydney, was an easy winner in the 1000m with a comfortable time of two minutes 43.69 seconds. Runner-up Agnes Samaria of Namibia set a national record of 2:44.78.

Although it was a low-key success it gave Holmes the opportunity to test out her fitness on a warm evening before returning back to England on Wednesday to begin preparations for the World Indoor Championships at the beginning of March.

Holmes who wants to race 800 metres at the Lisbon venue will attempt to gain selection by competing in the two day Norwich Union British World trials being held in conjunction with the AAA Championships in Birmingham next weekend.

South African Hestrie Cloete, who got the silver in the women's high jump in Sydney, won her first outing of the year, edging out compatriot Marizca Gertenbach, the bronze medallist at the 2000 world junior championships, on a count-back after both had cleared 1.90 metres.

In the men's 200 metres, Radek Zachovar of the Czech Republic took first place in 20.67 seconds ahead of South African Marcus la Grange, who clocked 20.87.

Decathlete Roman Sebrle, also of the Czech Republic and a silver medallist in Sydney, finished second in the men's 110 metres hurdles in 14.13 seconds behind South African Shaun Bownes who came home in an impressive 13.53 seconds.

David Martin (PA) for the IAAF

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