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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tia Hellebaut won Belgium first gold medal

Tia Hellebaut (L) of Belgium celebrates with Blanka Vlasic of Croatia after the women's high jump final at the National Stadium

Belgium finally got on to the Beijing Olympic gold medals table when Tia Hellebaut won a women's high jump title here on Saturday.

The 30-year-old Hellebaut, the world indoor pentathlon champion, cleared 2.05 meters on her first attempt to claim the gold medal

Croatian Blanka Vlasic had to settle for the silver as she failed the first attempt on 2.05. The world champion, who had the eight best marks of the season and was a big favorite coming into the Olympics, didn't miss at any heights until her first go at 2.05 meters, which she cleared on her second attempt.

The bronze medal went to Russian Anna Chicherova with 2.03 meters.

Another Russian Elena Slesarenko, the 2004 Athens gold medalist and two-time world indoors champion, was fourth at 2.01.

Tia Hellebaut of Belgium celebrates after the women's high jump final at the National Stadium

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