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Ageless Mutola reaches fifth Olympic 800m final

Ageless Mutola reaches fifth Olympic 800m final

The 34-year-old, who won her only Olympic title in 2000 and took bronze in 1996, came second in her semis.

Beijing: Mozambique's 800 metres legend Maria Mutola reached her fifth Olympic final here on Saturday.

The 34-year-old, who won her only Olympic title in 2000 and took bronze in 1996, came second in her semi-final despite being spiked on the final bend.

Mutola, a three-time world champion at the distance and seven-time world indoor winner, said she was very happy to have reached the final.

"This is my sixth Olympics and my fifth final," said Mutola.

"I am very happy. I didn't pay attention to the time this evening, it was just about qualifying."

However, even Mutola admitted that time would eventually run out for her.

"There's no way I'll be at the 2012 Olympics," said Mutola who finished fourth in the 2004 Olympic final won by her then training partner Kelly Holmes.

"I'll be too old by then as I am already nearly 35."

Mutola's time may have been a seasonal best of 1minute 58.61seconds but it was the slowest of the finalists.

Kenyan duo Janeth Jepkosgei and Pamela Jelimo, favourites for the gold and silver, produced the two best times of the semis 1:57.28 and 1:57.31 respectively.

first published:August 16, 2008, 19:33 IST