July 18, 2008 / 6:28 PM / 11 years ago

Veteran Privalova fails to make Olympic team

Russian athlete Irina Privalova rests during a training session in Moscow June 21, 2008. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

KAZAN, Russia (Reuters) - Former Olympic and world champion Irina Privalova failed in her attempt to qualify for the Beijing Olympics at the Russian championships on Friday.

Privalova, who turns 40 in November, was hoping to take part in her fourth Games but missed the 100 meters final by just one hundredth of a second after clocking 11.58 in her semi-final.

“It’s a real pity. She was a bit unlucky,” Privalova’s husband and coach Vladimir Parashchyuk told Reuters from Kazan.

“They had three semi-finals in the women’s 100 with the top two from each semi-final going straight to the final as well as two others with the best time.

“In her semi-final she was running into a strong head wind while the wind was favoring the runners in the other two semis.”

Privalova has not competed on the big stage since winning gold in the 400 meters hurdles at the 2000 Sydney Olympics but has chosen to go back to her first love, the 100 meters, in her comeback attempt. She won gold in the 4x100 meters relay at the 1993 Stuttgart world championships.

“It’s okay I can live with that. I’ll try the 200 tomorrow,” said the mother of three children.

Russia’s number one sprinter Yevgenia Polyakova won the 100 meters final in 11.30 seconds.

World 1,500 meters record holder Yelena Soboleva clocked a year’s best of one minute 54.85 seconds in the 800..

Reporting by Alexander Lyubimov: Writing by Gennady Fyodorov; Editing by John Mehaffey

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