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  • The women's 800 metres at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics was held at the Olympic Stadium on 16, 17 and 19 August. Prior to the championships, there was no clear favourite for the race – the twenty fastest times of the season had been run by seventeen different athletes. The reigning World and Olympic champions, Janeth Jepkosgei and Pamela Jelimo, had not shown the dominance of previous seasons. The two fastest runners of the season, Caster Semenya and Maggie Vessey, had recently set personal bests but lacked any major championships experience, while third best Anna Alminova was a 1500 metres specialist. European Indoor Champion Mariya Savinova and Svetlana Klyuka, fourth at the Olympics, were other strong competitors. The 2007 World medallists Hasna Benhassi and Mayte Martínez, and Olympic finalist Yuliya Krevsun were also predicted as medal possibilities. The events in the heats resulted in a surprise decision: world-leader Semenya accidentally tripped Jepkosgei and the defending champion finished last in the first heat.

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