On this day: Kelly Holmes wins second Olympic gold

Kelly Holmes crosses the line in first place to claim gold at the 2004 Olympic Games.
© Getty Images
Nine years ago today, Great Britain's Kelly Holmes won her second gold medal of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

At the age of 34, Kelly Holmes knew that the 2004 Games in Athens represented her last chance to win an Olympic gold medal.

So desperate was she to claim one of the top prizes, she actually entered herself into both the 800m and 1,500m, despite having only originally planned to compete in the latter.

She got off to the perfect start in Greece on August 23, winning the 800m title on the line ahead of the heavily fancied Maria Mutola and Jolanda Ceplak.

However, that was a race not many people had expected her to win - it was much different by the time that the final of 1,500m got underway nine years ago today. Briton Holmes was viewed as the favourite, although world champion Tatyana Tomashova was expected to provide a strong challenge.

The Russian was true to that viewpoint and even held the lead with just 200m left to run. That is when Holmes, in fifth, accelerated and she managed to open up a two-yard advantage which she maintained all the way to the finish line, setting a new British record time of 3:57.90 in the process.

As a result, the Kent-born runner had become only the third woman in history to win both the 800m and 1,500m at an Olympics behind Tatyana Kazankina of the Soviet Union in 1976 and Russia's Svetlana Masterkova 20 years later.

After her double success, Holmes said: "I can't believe it - I'm gobsmacked. After the 800m I had a lot of confidence and I was feeling good going through the rounds, but these girls are really good and I had to focus more than ever in that race."

Holmes, who would later become a Dame as a result of her services to the sport and success in Athens, went on to retire in 2005.

Great Britain's Kelly Holmes celebrates after winning gold in the women's 800 metre final during the Olympic Games in Athens on August 24, 2004
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