Hellebaut claims surprise gold in high jump

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Beijing, Aug 24: Tia Hellebaut of Belgium has won the women's high jump at the Beijing Olympics in an upset over Blanka Vlasic of Croatia.

Hellebaut, the world indoor pentathlon champion, also beat Vlasic for the European high jump title two years ago. This time, she cleared 2.05 meters (6 feet, 8 3/4 inches) on her first attempt to win the gold medal on Saturday. World champion Vlasic had the eight best marks of the season coming into the Olympics and didn't miss at any heights Saturday until her first go at 2.05 meters, which she cleared on her second attempt. She finished with silver. Anna Chicherova of Russia took bronze at 2.03 meters (6-7 3/4).

Russia's Elena Slesarenko, the 2004 Athens gold medalist and two-time world indoors champion, was fourth at 2.01 (6-7).

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