Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hell over as Ohuruogu Is a Champion; Christine's Delight after 400m Glory

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hell over as Ohuruogu Is a Champion; Christine's Delight after 400m Glory

Article excerpt

TWO years after almost quitting the sport, and after a couple of sleepless nights in Beijing, Christine Ohuruogu last night became the first British woman to win the Olympic 400 metres title.

After Germaine Mason had claimed Britain's first athletics medal of the Games with a surprise silver in the high jump, Ohuruogu produced a storming finish to overhaul favourite Sanya Richards and add Olympic gold to the world title she won in Osaka last year.

Ohuruogu won in a time of 49.62 seconds as Richards blamed a hamstring injury for tying up badly down the home straight and could only finish third behind Jamaica's Shericka Williams.

"I don't know where I am right now," said Ohuruogu. "You never think it's a reality, it's something you dream about.

As I came across the line I thought 'Oh my gosh' - I don't know what to say.

"I'm just so proud of myself. Today I warmed up for an hour and a half. I had to keep stopping and sitting down to sort my head out. I felt tired, I hadn't slept for the last two nights, the pressure was getting to me. I thought, 'If I don't win, what will happen?' As it gets closer and closer you get more scared and realise it is a lot harder than it you think it is."

Just over two years ago Ohuruogu was considering quitting athletics after being suspended for 12 months for missing three out-of-competition drugs tests. But she continued to train during her ban and returned to competition to win the World Championships in Japan last year ahead of team-mate Nicola Sanders - less than a month after the suspension expired.

Her place on the British team was only secured after she successfully appealed against a BOA ban from competing at the Olympics.

"I believe I have been given an amazing talent and I am thankful I am able to come out and perform because championships is where it's at," added the 24-year-old, who also won Commonwealth gold in Melbourne in 2006.

"You have to believe in yourself, you believe in the talent you have been blessed with and that you can go out and do it. I just know I am here and have won a gold medal and that is all that matters right now.

"I don't really care what people think or say, they can say what they like. …

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