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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Women's 100 Gold Goes to Belarus

ATHENS -- Belarus' Yulia Nesterenko won the top women's athletics gold medal at the Olympics on Saturday, triumphing over a field stripped of many big names because of doping woes to win the 100-meter sprint.

In 10.93 seconds Nesterenko spedfrom being virtually unknown to making world headlines.

"I believe in God and I believe God saw all my efforts and helped me," an emotional Nesterenko told reporters after the race.

"Now I just want to go home to see my family and share this joy with them."

Her sudden rise to prominence at the relatively mature age of 25 puzzled many, but Nesterenko had simple explanations.

"First of all we finally got our own apartment, me and my husband. Before we used to live with my parents and it wasn't comfortable," she said.

"Second we tried to change completely my training methods. We added a lot of weightlifting."

She was the first non-American since the 1980 Moscow Games -- boycotted by the United States -- to win the women's 100.

The race was thrown wide open after defending champion Marion Jones of the United States failed to qualify and the first two finishers from last year's world championships, Americans Kelli White and Torri Edwards, were banned for doping.