Richards beats Olympic 400 champ Ohuruogu in world final

Updated: September 14, 2008, 10:38 AM ET
Associated Press

STUTTGART, Germany -- Sanya Richards beat Olympic 400-meter champion Christine Ohuruogu at the World Athletics Final on Sunday, handing the Briton her only defeat of the year.

Richards had been considered a favorite in the 400 at Beijing last month and the American set the early pace in that race, only to fade to third.

[+] EnlargeSanya Richards
John Macdougall/AFP/Getty ImagesAmerican Sanya Richards, crossing the finish Sunday to win the women's 400 meters in Germany, took the bronze at Beijing.
There was no such letdown Sunday, with Richards powering from the start and winning with plenty to spare in 50.41 seconds. Ohuruogu was second in 50.83, and Novlene Williams finished third in 51.30. Olympic silver medalist Shericka Williams of Jamaica was fifth.

Richards completed a sweep at the two-day event, having also won the 200 on Saturday.

Ohuruogu won the 400 at the world championships in Osaka, Japan, one year ago only weeks after completing a one-year ban for missing three out-of-competition drug tests between October 2005 and July 2006.

Pamela Jelimo made sure of collecting the $1 million she won in the Golden League when she cruised to victory in the women's 800, clocking a meet record 1 minute, 56.41 seconds.

The Golden League jackpot goes to athletes who win their event in all six stops on the sport's most lucrative tour and the 18-year-old Kenyan was the only one to do so. But to actually take home the prize, the winners also have to show up at the World Athletics Final.

Jelimo did and in the process increased her purse by another $30,000 given to first-place winners here.

The Kenyan teenager, who only started running the two-lap race this year, was unbeaten in her 12 finals this year, including the Olympics in Beijing last month.

Behind Jelimo, her countrywoman Janeth Jepkosgei edged ahead in a close race for second in 1:58.41, with Britain's Marilyn Okoro a further 0.23 back.

Jelimo let Okoro lead into the second lap, then took over and charged to the front, opening a lead of nearly 10 meters on the final straight.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press