Vancouver’s Anna Maslechko proved it’s not how you start but how you finish, winning the women’s 1200 metre in convincing fashion.
It was Abbotsford’s Rachel Mortimer playing the role of the hare, darting out to an early lead and taking command for three-quarters of the race.
Mortimer was 20 metres ahead of anyone else heading into the final lap, and Maslechko thought the gap too big to overcome.
“She was really far ahead which was hard,” Maslechko said. “But that’s why you can’t go really fast at the start.”
But with 300 metres to go, Mortimer started to fade.
Maslechko and Surrey’s Baneet Bains roared past her on the final turn and Maslechko pulled away down the stretch, crossing the finish line in 3:42.44.
Bains was second at 3:46.26 and Mortimer finished third at 3:46.50.
“I’m feeling really tired but I set a personal best,” Maslechko said afterwards. “The last 100 metres was all-in or nothing for me because I didn’t want to come this far and not medal.”
“I’m going to feel really proud of that gold medal when I look at it tonight because I trained really hard for this and I’m very happy.”