August 1, 2009 / 5:58 PM / 9 years ago

Dane Friis controls final for freestyle gold

ROME (Reuters) - Denmark’s Lotte Friis controlled the women’s 800 meters freestyle final to win the gold medal at the swimming world championships on Saturday.

Friis opened up a gap on her rivals in the middle of the race and kept a firm grip on it to win with a time of eight minutes 15.92 seconds.

Britain’s Joanne Jackson came second with Italy’s Alessia Filippi adding a bronze medal to the gold she won in the 1,500 on Tuesday.

Britain’s Olympic champion and world record holder Rebecca Adlington was off the podium in fourth place.

“It’s a dream. I cannot believe what has happened yet,” Friis, who took bronze in Beijing last year behind Adlington and Filippi, told reporters.

“It’s unbelievable because I was tired after the heats yesterday and I didn’t expect this result.

“I saw the British girl was behind me but I feared Filippi might have the best finish.

“In the last 200 meters I decided to speed up and run away. I was in no doubt I would win after the last turn.”

Reporting by Paul Virgo; Editing by Sonia Oxley

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