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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yegorova Pulls Away From Controversy, Rivals

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EDMONTON, Canada — It was Olga Yegorova against Gabriela Szabo. It was Olga Yegorova against the crowd. The Russian beat them both.

Booed before and after the race, Yegorova won the 5,000-meter gold medal at the World Championships on Saturday, leaving Szabo in her wake with two laps to go for an easy victory.

The Russian runner, suspected of using the endurance-enhancer EPO during a meet in Paris last month, pulled away in the last half-lap to win the most controversial race of the 10-day championships.

Szabo, the two-time defending champion who had already won the 1,500 meters, called some of those in front of her "robots" and said: "Yegorova is not the champion here."

Yegorova, who underwent a full EPO test this week that cleared her, called the Paris test "a mistake."

"You cannot accuse one of what he has not committed," she said.

That didn't stop some competitors.

Joanne Pavey of Britain, a distant 11th, said she did not consider Yegorova the gold medalist.

"I don't think anyone will," Pavey said. "And I think the crowd will make that clear when she comes to the podium for the medal ceremony [on Sunday]. At least, I hope they will. It's just a shame. It's the worst possible result."

Others in the race disagreed.

Bronze medalist Ayelech Worku of Ethiopia embraced the Russian after the race, and Spain's Marta Dominguez, the silver medalist, said she accepted the result.

"It is quite clear for me the winner is Yegorova and I'm happy until anything is proven otherwise," she said.

Even Marion Jones, the U.S. sprinting champion, responded positively.

"She won the gold. Congratulations to her," Jones said.

Many of the 47,312 spectators at Commonwealth Stadium booed loudly when Yegorova was introduced before the race. As she crossed the finish line first, an eerie quiet came over the crowd, which had loudly cheered every other victory. Some boos could be heard, but very few cheers.

It hardly affected Yegorova, and she said she was unconcerned about a possible negative reaction during Sunday's medal ceremony.

"Should I have come in second or third to please the crowd?" she said.

When asked why she failed to take a victory lap like almost every other winner, Yegorova replied: "Sorry, but I forgot."

The race never turned into a true Szabo-Yegorova duel. Despite a slow pace, Szabo tired and dropped back when the leaders pulled away with two laps to go.

"Now I am on top and very satisfied," Yegorova said, condemning anyone who would use EPO because "it's not good for their health."

Jones beamed her famous smile after anchoring the U.S. 4x100 relay team to victory over Germany to win her fifth world championship gold medal, tying compatriot Gail Devers as the winningest woman in championship history.

It wasn't everything she wanted, after losing the 100 final before winning the 200.

"I came here to walk away with three golds and it didn't happen," Jones said. "I have to deal with that."

Devers could have added a sixth title but failed to win the 100 hurdles for the fourth time in a row, edged by fellow American Anjanette Kirkland.

Where Devers failed, Pedroso of Cuba succeeded. Despite a lackluster year, the Olympic champion outjumped all competition when it counted to win his fourth long-jump world title in a row. He also has four indoor titles.

Pedroso finished with 8.4 meters, by far his best jump of the season and 16 centimeters ahead of Savante Stringfellow of the United States.

Also assuring his status as an all-time great was Poland's Robert Korzeniowski, who added the world title to his Olympic gold in the 50-kilometer walk. It was the second time he achieved that double.

Korzeniowski already is the first man to win at both 20 and 50 kilometers in the same Olympics, in Sydney last year. He won Saturday in a season's leading 3 hours 42:08 minutes over Spain's Jesus Angel Garcia, the 1993 champion who finished 59 seconds later.

Natalya Sadova of Russia launched the best discus throw of the season to overtake Olympic champion Elina Zvereva of Belarus and win the world title.

The results left the United States and Russia tied at the top of the medals table with 17 each, and the Americans holding an edge with seven golds to six, heading into the final day of the championships.