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Gevaert battles to sprint double

11 August 2006

Kim Gevaert Kim Gevaert
Belgian Kim Gevaert added the 200m crown to her 100m gold to wrap up a brilliant sprint double at the European Championships in Sweden.

Gevaert carried the momentum off the bend to power past Russian Yuliya Gushchina and win in 23.09 seconds with Russia's Natalya Rusakova third.

"I am so pleased, it is just a dream," said Gervaert. "I knew Gushchina would be close but I flashed by her."

Gevaert capped a good night for Belgium after Tia Hellebaut's high jump win.

The 28-year-old credited Hellebaut's surprise victory with giving her extra inspiration during her final preparations for the 200m.

"I screamed when my friend Tia won the high jump," said Gevaert. "Seeing her gave me so much motivation two minutes before my own start."

"I wonder what is going on right now in Belgium with three gold medals. It is wonderful for such a small country."

Gevaert became the first woman since Irina Privalova in 1994 to claim the European sprint double.

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