London: Russia`s Mariya Savinova took Olympic gold in the women`s 800 metres final Saturday, edging out South Africa`s Caster Semenya as the 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 metres.
Czech runner Jarmila Kratochvilova`s 29-year-old world record of 1.53.28 easily remained intact.