The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Khorkina completes historic hattrick

Anaheim, Aug. 23 (Reuters): Svetlana Khorkina lived up to her reputation as the diva of gymnastics with an historic gold medal-winning performance in a dramatic women’s all-round competition at the world championships on Friday.

The two-time defending champion was reduced to tears after the Russian learned she had become the first ever man or woman to secure three world titles in the all-round event.

What made her latest triumph even more compelling was the manner in which she snatched gold from the clutches of American Carly Patterson and left China’s Zhang Nan with bronze.

The leader at the start of the fourth and final rotation, Patterson could only watch as Khorkina indulged the Arrowhead Pond crowd with a floor routine full of her typical pomp and ceremony.

Khorkina’s award of 9.675 left Patterson needing to score 9.460 or higher to reclaim the gold medal position, but a combination of mental pressure and physical strain proved too much for the 15-year-old.

“I was emotional afterwards because it means so much,” said Khorkina, the 1997 and 2001 all-round world champion who moved from ninth place after the first apparatus to finish on 38.124 points.

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