LONDON, August 11 (RIA Novosti)
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Russia’s Mariya Savinova took Olympic gold in the women’s 800 meters final Saturday, edging out South Africa’s Caster Semenya as bronze also went to Russia.
Savinova, the reigning world champion, ran a time of 1 minute 56.19 and, while there was none of the record-breaking pace shown in the men’s final when Kenya’s David Rudisha smashed his own world record, there was plenty of drama.
Kenya’s Pamela Jelimo, the Olympic champion in 2008, turned on the pace too early and ended up fourth as Savinova, Semenya and third-placed Ekaterina Poistogova all passed her.
Savinova won by over a second from Semenya, with Poistogova edging out Jelimo in the final ten meters.
Czechoslovakian runner Jarmila Kratochvilova’s 29-year-old world record of 1.53.28 easily remained intact.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.