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IAAF.org: Da Lima returns home to hero

Thursday 2 September 2004

Brazilian marathon runner Vanderlei da Lima arrived back in his homeland to an

ovation fit for an Olympic champion yesterday.

Da Lima won the Olympic bronze medal in Athens behind Italian victor Stefano

Baldini but was leading the race with a lead of nearly 30 seconds when he was

rugby tackled by a defrocked Catholic priest.

Though he had been gradually running slower, the incident cost him at least

15 seconds and he was clearly distressed by what happened, and was quickly

caught by Baldini who would eventually finish 76 seconds ahead of

him.

It does not matter if it is gold, silver or bronze

Mobbed as he arrived at Sao Paulo airport, Da Lima said: "I bear no ill

will. I reached my objective which I had set for myself: to win a medal. It

does not matter if it is gold, silver or bronze.

 

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