Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova takes surprise bronze in the marathon | 05.08.2012
Running a well-paced race, Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova came through strongly in the second half of the marathon to take an unexpected bronze medal in a personal best 2:23.29 on Sunday.
"I am very happy and tearful because I didn't expect to get third," said the Moscow Luch athlete. "I was frightened until the end because the African runners are very strong. I tried to stay with them, and I did. I am very proud."
Throughout the whole race Petrova Arkhipova was always in touch with the leaders at the back of a large group, but from 25km to 35km she moved up and even took the lead at one stage.
"My tactics were to be part of the main group and to be close to the leaders," she explained afterwards.
This is not the first time that the Russian has competed at the Olympics. In Beijing she finished just outside the medals in fourth place in the steeplechase.
Before today the 29-year-old had two silver medals to her credit – both at the steeplechase – from the European Athletics Championships in 2006 and the world championships in Osaka the following year.
Petrova Arkhipova has been running marathons for eight years, her fastest time coming in Berlin last year where she finished fifth in 2:25:01.
One of the favourites for the title, fellow-Russian Lilya Shobukhova, retired at 22km with an injury to her thigh.
Gold was won by Ethiopia's Tiki Gelana in an Olympic record of 2:23:07, five seconds ahead of Kenya's Priscah Jeptoo.