Lilli Schwarzkopf has won silver in the heptathlon, but she suffered a nasty scare after the final discipline, the 800 meters. The scoreboards initially said she was disqualified; officials apologized for the mistake.
The home crowd in London was busy cheering Jessica Ennis as she sprinted to 800-meter victory and overall gold in the heptathlon late on Saturday, while Lilli Schwarzkopf stared at the scoreboard, bemused.
The 28-year-old German was initially classified as disqualified from the final 800 meter discipline, for allegedly breaking lane too early in the race. It later emerged, however, that the officials had confused Schwarzkopf with the runner one lane further wide, who did put a toe on the white line. Replays revealed that while Schwarzkopf had flirted with the dividing line herself, she never quite crossed it.
"Unbelievable. L. Schwarzkopf has a medal after all. The officials confused her [with another runner] and mistakenly disqualified her," German Olympic Committee (DOSB) employee Jörg Stratmann wrote on the body's Twitter account. After all the confusion, some doubt endured in the following moments, when he wrote: "The computer is now calling it 'official:' Silver for Lilli Schwarzkopf with 6649 points. Should we believe it?"
Ennis won gold comfortably with 6955 points over the seven events, while Russia's Tatjana Chernova took bronze with 6628. Ukraine's Lyudmyla Yosypenko had her hopes raised and dashed amid the Schwarzkopf furore, she finished fourth overall and briefly appeared set for a medal herself.
After a counter-appeal from Ukraine and a delay, the medal ceremony eventually went ahead. Schwarzkopf was the only German to claim a medal in a lean day of competition.
The host athletes fared particularly well in Saturday's action, with Britain winning six gold medals in total - the best single-day showing for Team GB since the 1908 Olympics, also in London.
Somali refugee turned British citizen Mo Farah won the 10,000 meters with an impressive last lap sprint to claim the hosts' sixth gold of the day. Greg Rutherford had wrapped up long jump gold moments earlier in the infield. Britain's footballers, however, were disappointed in a penalty shootout against South Korea late on Saturday evening.
The highlight of Sunday's action, arguably of the entire Olympics, will take place late in the evening, when Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and others will vie for gold in the 100-meters final.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the women's 100 meters for Jamaica on Saturday night, beating Carmelita Jeter of the US by just 0.03 seconds. Another Jamaican, Veronica Campbell-Brown, came in third, a further three-hundredths of a second behind. Fraser-Pryce ran the dash in 10.75 seconds, well shy of Florence Griffith Joyner's 1988 world record of 10.49 seconds.
msh/mr (dpa, SID)
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