O'Sullivan sprints back into form

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The Independent Online

Sonia O'Sullivan bounced back to her best form to win the Flora Lite Challenge for Women in Hyde Park yesterday.

Sonia O'Sullivan bounced back to her best form to win the Flora Lite Challenge for Women in Hyde Park yesterday.

The Irishwoman, who finished last in the Olympic 5,000 metres final while suffering from an upset stomach, showed superb form to take the five kilometre road race in 15min 6sec. A powerful sprint finish 500m from the line brought her victory two seconds ahead of Ethiopia's Derartu Tulu, with Mihaela Botezan of Romania third in 15:24.

O'Sullivan did not panic when Tulu opened a 20-yard gap in the first kilometre. By three kilometres she and Botezan had hauled in the African and the three then became involved in a determined battle.

Botezan fell away in the final kilometre but O'Sullivan, piling on the pace with the finish line in sight, never faltered.

In Szombathely, Hungary, Finland's Olli-Pekka Karjalainen won the men's hammer throw and the Olympic gold medalist Olga Kuzenkova of Russia the women's in the World final yesterday.

Karjalainen, who did not reach the Olympic final, threw 81.43 metres. The Athens silver medalist Ivan Tikhon of Belarus was second with 80.44m while Hungary's Krisztian Pars was third with 79.17. In the women's competition, Kuzenkova threw 72.90m, easily outdistancing Olga Cander of Belarus.

The rest of the events in the World final will be held on 18-19 September in Monte Carlo. The Louis II Stadium there does not allow for hammer throwing.

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