By Daniel Kiko, (Standard), World-Track
HEUSDEN-ZOLDER, Belgium — Olympic champion Pamela Jelimo returned to winning form on Saturday when she used a different tactic to win the women’s 800m at the KBC Night of Athletics in Belgium.
After easing off and let the pacemakers dictate the race in the early stages, the Kenyan took over the lead with 200m to go and then flash away from the pack to win with a seasonal best time of 1:59.59, beating her closest challenger by some five-metres.
“Today I wanted to test my finishing speed. That is why I stayed off the pace in the early stages of the race,” said Jelimo.
“At the Kenyan trials next week tactics can be equally important. To win a medal at the World Championships is Berlin is definitely my goal now.”
Jelimo dominated the two-lap event last season on her way to winning the Olympic title in Beijing and the US$1 million jackpot prize in the AF Golden League series. She, however, struggled in 2009 and was soundly beaten in her last two races prior to this win.
Jamaica’s Kenia Sinclair finished second in 2:00.77, with American Ucency Morgan taking third place in 2:00.95.
In the sprints, the women’s 100m saw a close battle between the islanders with British Virgin Islands’ Tahesia Harrigan holding on from a rocket start to beat the inform LaVerne Jones-Ferrette from the U.S. Virgin Islands.
With a following wind of +3.4m/s, Harrigan clocked 11.14secs to edge Jones-Ferrette (11.16) and Great Britain’s Laura Turner (11.26).
Bulgarian record holder Ivet Lalova won the opening race of two in 11.27, helped by a +4.7m/s pushing wind. Jamaica’s Le-Roy Anastasia also ran 11.27 for second place.