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Mariya Savinova wins women's 800; Alysia Johnson Montano fifth

The Russian world champion passes defending Olympic champion Pamela Jelimo to win in a season-best time of 1 minute 56.19 seconds.

August 11, 2012|By Helene Elliott
  • Mariya Savinova
Mariya Savinova (Eric Feferberg / AFP / Getty…)

LONDON -- Mariya Savinova of Russia added the London Olympics 800-meter title to the world championship she won at that distance last year, passing defending champion Pamela Jelimo of Kenya and others to win the two-lap race Saturday in a season-best time of 1 minute 56.19 seconds.

Caster Semenya of South Africa made a late push to finish second in a season-best 1:57.23 and Ekaterina Poistogova of Russia was third in a personal-best 1:57.53.

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Jelimo, who had been favored, finished fourth in 1:57.59.

Alysia Johnson Montano of Canyon Country, Calif., who always wears a flower in her hair when she runs, led after a 56.31-second first lap but was passed by Jelimo early in the second lap.

Johnson Montano finished fifth in 1:57.93.

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