5 Sep 2011

Savinova wins 800m gold at World Champs

10:17 am on 5 September 2011

Surprised Russian Maria Savinova overhauled Caster Semenya on the home straight to win the women's 800 metres gold in South Korea and end the South African's controversial reign as world champion.

The 26-year-old Savinova, the fastest woman in the world this year, came through the field behind Semenya round the final bend and surged passed her rival to win in a world-leading time of one minute 55.87 seconds.

Semenya, banned from running for much of the first year of her reign as world champion while an IAAF investigation into her gender was conducted, claimed silver in 1.56.35, her best time of the year.

Bronze went to Kenya's 2007 champion Janeth Jepkosgei, the Olympic silver medallist, who ran 1.57.42 to edge out American pace-setter Alysia Johnson Montano.