Sweden’s Kluft wins heptathlon gold

PARIS: Sweden's Carolina Kluft won the heptathlon at the World Championships here yesterday, and became just the third woman in athletics history to breech the 7,000-point barrier. 

Kluft notched up 7,001 points to finish ahead of France's Eunice Barber and Belarus' Natalya Sazanovich, who won the silver and bronze medals respectively. 

Barber, the 1999 world champion and local favourite, scored 6755 points while Sazanovich, who finished second two years ago, had 6524 points. 

Sweden's Carolina Kluft reacts after winning the heptathlon gold.--APpic.

The Swedish girl, who is also the reigning European and world junior champion, produced four absolute personal best marks in the seven disciplines that comprise the two-day event, topped off by a stirring 800m which was also a trip into new territory. 

Kluft dragged her tired body around two laps of the track in 2mins 12.12secs, which was just enough to take her past the 7,000 points mark, a barrier which seemed unlikely to be broken when she had problems in the long jump earlier yesterday. 

She also had to hold her nerve as the competitors faced a long wait for their event to get underway due to the protests which had surrounded the men's 100m quarter-finals. 

“It's been a wonderful competition and the crowd here have been wonderful as well,” said Kluft. – AFP 

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