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Russia’s Silnov wins gold in high jump
BEIJING, Aug 19 (Reuters):
Published on 20 Aug. 2008 1:03 AM IST
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Russia's Andrey Silnov won the Olympic gold medal in the men's high jump on Tuesday with a jump of 2.36 metres. Britain's Germaine Mason took silver, his country's first athletics medal at the Beijing Games, and Russia's Yaroslav Rybakov took bronze. Sweden's Stefan Holm, the gold medal winner in Athens four years ago, finished fourth after failing to clear better than 2.32. Holm, 32, had said he intended to retire if he retained the Olympic title, and he will be disappointed to have failed to have at least made the podium. European champion Silnov opted to continue jumping, with a possible eye on the 15-year-old world record of 2.45 metres, but failed in his three attempts to clear 2.42. With a pudding-bowl, 1970's style haircut and an ice-cold expression, Silnov, the son of a miner, looked like he had walked straight out of a cold-war movie, but his face lit up in delight once he knew he had gold. After taking a victory lap, he stopped to observe compatriot Yelena Isinbayeva's tearful medal ceremony for her victory in Monday's pole vault. The 25-year-old Mason's silver was a surprise-his previous best results at international level were a bronze at the world indoor championships in 2004 and a win in the Pan-American games in 2003-both in the colours of his country of birth, Jamaica. Mason switched his allegiance to Britain in 2006.

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