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07 Aug 2012

No result can be taken for granted

The favorites Isinbayeva and Adams did not win the gold medal

Yesterday evening, the London Olympic Stadium witnessed a series of surprising results in the track and field competitions, starting from the bronze won by Elena Isinbayeva. The Russian athlete, Olympic champion at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, started out as the big favorite in the pole vault final, but had to make do with the lowest spot on the podium in a competition that was also affected by the wind and rain and saw the triumph of the American Jennifer Suhr, with a 4.75m jump, ahead of Cuban Yarisley Silva. Another surprise came from the 400m hurdles final, with the 34-year-old Dominican Felix Sanchez who, eight years after the gold at Athens 2004, with yesterday's success became the oldest ever winner of an Olympic Games sprint event. Behind him were American Michael Tinsley and Puerto Rican Javier Culson, the favorite before the competition. Yet another surprise was the gold medal won by the Byelorussian Nadzeya Ostapchuk in the shot put, with a 21.36m throw. The favorite, New Zealand's Valerie Adams, Olympic Champion at Beijing 2008 and World Champion at Berlin 2009 and Daegu 2011, had to settle for a silver medal, while the bronze went to Russian Evgeniia Kolodko. Conversely, all went according to plan in the 3000m steeplechase, with the defending World Champion, Russian Yuliya Zaripova, securing a gold medal with a time of 9:06.72. The silver was won by Tunisian Habiba Ghribi and the bronze by Ethiopian Sofia Assefa. In the 400m, the World Champion at Daegu 2011, Kirani James, also lived up to expectations winning his first Olympic gold at just 19 years of age. He finished the race in 43.94 ahead of Dominican Luguelin Santos and Trinidad and Tobago's athlete Lalonde Gordon.