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IAAF.org: Mutola is defeated but El Guerrouj returns to winning ways in Lausanne

El Guerrouj wins but struggles to hold off Songok


Lausanne, Switzerland – Many impressive competitive reputations have taken a hard knock in the last few days on Europe’s tracks, and at Athletissima - IAAF Super Grand Prix - in the Stade Olympique de la Pontaise, World and Olympic 800m champion Maria Mutola became the latest victim tonight.
However, Hicham El Guerrouj who was one of the big names to have his pedigree successfully challenged last Friday, quickly salvaged some pride with a dip finish win in the men’s 1500m.

Mutola suffers shock defeat

Mutola was surprisingly beaten tonight in a women’s 800m for the first time since suffering defeat to Cuba’s Zulia Calatayud on the 19 July 2002 in Monaco. As such, her winning streak of 27 wins came to an end, and it was all thanks to Russia’s Svetlana Cherkasova whose 1:58.91 beat the racing ace from Mozambique.

The 2003 Golden League Jackpot winner looked heavy legged as she came off the final bend and the women who were grouped on her shoulder seemed to sense the possibility of a win. Finally, it was the Russian who mustered enough strength, crossing the finish ahead of Mutola who with 1:59.06 for second, just did enough to hold off a pack of four challengers (who all finished under 2 mins) who were pressing hard.

El Guerrouj wins but struggles to hold off Songok

Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco, the quadruple World 1500m champion, will take some comfort from the fact that he returned to winning ways this evening in 3:32.20, following on from his shock defeat in Rome last Friday.

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