Lalova Dedicates Precious European Crown to 'All Bulgarians'Sports | June 29, 2012, Friday // 10:52| views
Bulgaria`s Ivet Lalova (C) is on her way to win the women`s 100m final in front of second placed Olesya Povh (R) from Ukraine and fifth placed Olga Belkina (L) from Russia during the Athletics European Championships in Helsinki, Finland, 28 June 2012 EPA/
Bulgaria's Ivet Lalova, who triumphed in the 100 m sprint at the European Championship in Helsinki on Thursday, has dedicated her win to all Bulgarians, who support and inspire her.
"This gold medal is for all the people in Bulgaria, because you are the ones who support and inspire me. Nothing compares to the joy I feel when I hear the Bulgarian anthem," Lalova told Bulgarian reporters after the awarding ceremony.
The 28-year-old Bulgarian sprinter ran the 100m in 11.28 seconds, leaving behind Ukraine's Olesya Povh (11.32) and Lithuania's Lina Grincikaite.
This is the first medal for Bulgaria from a short-distance sprint event at a European championship.
“The race was tough. The weather is not good for sprinting,” Lalova said.
The 100 m final was a very closely contested race, with Ukraine's Olesya Povh leading until the last 30 meters, when Lalaova produced a scintillating finish and managed to outrun her.
Lalova, widely known as the fastest white woman, has obviously come back to her glory days before she broke her leg in a freak accident and underwent seven operations.
"I have been waiting for this day for more than seven years. This is a big come-back and something I have been working real hard to achieve."
Ivet Lalova has staged an excellent performance in Helsinki so far, qualifying for Wednesday's semi-finals with a season's best 11.06 and then winning the semi-finals in 11.23.
She’s also favored for the 200, which has the first heats on Friday.
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