Okoro’s belated Euro bronze raises UKA 2013 ‘target’

Marilyn Okoro set to gain 800m 2011 Euro medal after Russian Yuliya Rusanova found guilty of drug violation

Marilyn Okoro (Mark Shearman)

On announcing the British team for the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg next month, UK Athletics head coach Peter Eriksson declined to give a medal target, but revealed he wanted to improve on Paris 2011.

That aim was made a little harder yesterday, with the news that Marilyn Okoro has been elevated to bronze medal position, following the retrospective disqualification of Russian Yuliya Rusanova, who has been found guilty of a drug violation.

Okoro had already moved up from fifth place to fourth place after the original gold medal-winner Yevgeniya Zinurova was disqualified last June retroactively for a doping offence, which saw fellow Brit Jenny Meadows’ silver upgraded to a gold.

Okoro voiced her happiness at earning her first major individual medal on social media site Twitter, saying: “Wahooooo this is blessed and Awesome”.

She added: “Was a tough winter so I was super happy gettin to that line but to now get Bronze woop!”

European Athletics have adjusted the results on their website, with 2011 Paris statistics for the women’s 800m now showing Meadows in first with her time of 2:00.50, Linda Marguet of France in second with 2:01.61 and Okoro in third with her then season’s best time of 2:02.46.

Meadows will now head to Gothenburg as team captain with the aim of defending her title at the championships, which take place from March 1-3. Okoro’s bronze takes the GB Paris 2011 tally to beat from eight medals to nine.

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