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Canada's Lopes-Schliep wins hurdles bronze

Canadian Priscilla Lopes-Schliep won a bronze medal in the 100-metre hurdles final late Tuesday at the Beijing Olympics, a race won by Dawn Harper of the United States.

Canadian Priscilla Lopes-Schliep won a bronze medal in the 100-metre hurdles final late Tuesday at the Beijing Olympics, a race won by Dawn Harper of the United States.

Harper was timed in 12.54 seconds, with Sally McLellan of Australia taking silver.

Lopes-Schliep, of Whitby, Ont., ran in 12.64 seconds, the same time as McLellan, but officials ruled that McLellan was ahead by mere thousandths of a second.

The Canadian got off to a good start before slipping back over the middle part of the race, but was resurgent as several racers lunged towards the line.

"It was really close, when I saw 'photo finish.' I was on pins and needles, I didn't know what happened," Lopes-Schliep told CBC Sports. "All of us just dipped for that line. It was an intense race and I came through and got the third, so I'm very pleased."

Gold-medal contender LoLo Jones seemed in control of the race but hit the second-last hurdle and stumbled, finishing seventh.

"It was like racing a car at max velocity," said Jones. "When you hit a curve, you either maintain control or you crash and burn.

"Today, I crashed and burned. I'm shocked and sad. But I'm happy for the girls."

Several expected medal contenders were not in the final. Susanna Kallur of Sweden crashed into the first hurdle during the heats, while defending Olympic champion Joanna Hayes didn't qualify at the U.S. trials.

Canada's Perdita Felicien did not compete at Beijing due to injury.

Felicien, working as a CBC Sports track analyst, embraced Lopes-Schliep after the race.

Lopes-Schliep, who turns 26 next week, competed at the 2004 Athens Games, but did not make it out of the heats.

She said she had no idea if her lunge at the line was good enough for a medal.

"I didn't know. I was hoping so," she said. "Thank God, thank my family for all their prayers … and thank you for all your support, Canada.

"Here I am." 

It was the first track and field medal for Canada since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, when Donovan Bailey won the 100-metre gold and was part of the 4x100 relay win.

Harper finished third behind Jones and Damu Cherry at the U.S. Olympic trials, but legendary track coach Bob Kersee believed in her.

"This is a kid nobody knew," Kersee said. "Now she's an Olympic gold medallist. It's breathtaking."

Cherry finished fourth in Tuesday's final.

Women's 400 metres

Christine Ohuruogu of Great Britain shocked American Sanya Richards to win the gold medal in the 400-metre final late in Day 11 at the Beijing Olympics.

Ohuruogu took gold in a time of 49.62 seconds, the best any woman has run in 2008.

Richards got off to a strong start and appeared heading for victory at the turn, but tightened up and tired down the stretch.

Richards said her hamstring was the problem.

"More than snakebitten," she said. "I don't want to tell you what I'm thinking right now because it's not positive. I mean, I feel so betrayed by my body once again and it's just such a tough break for me."

She settled for bronze after being passed by Ohuruogu and Jamaica's Shericka Williams, who ran 49.69.

Ohuruogu was suspended for a year in 2006 after missing drug tests, but came back to win the 400 at the Osaka, Japan, world championships last year.

"I am just so proud of myself," Ohuruogu told reporters. "You always have all these dreams about winning, but you never think your dreams will be reality. I just ran across the line, thinking, 'I won!'"

Halifax's Power out of 200

Canada's Adrienne Power ran 23.51 seconds in the second round of women's 200-metre sprint qualifying on Day 11 at the Beijing Olympics, not good enough to qualify for the semifinals.

Power, from Halifax, finished seventh in her heat, which was won by Yuliya Chermoshanskaya of Russia in 22.63 seconds. Gold-medal contender Kerron Stewart of Jamaica and Marshevet Hooker, who finished third at the event at the U.S. Olympic trials, also qualified.

Power's personal best is 22.86 seconds.

The results in the first heat of the second round of qualifying on Tuesday duplicated the podium order four years ago at the Athens Games. Defending Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown won the heat in 22.64 seconds, just beating out Allyson Felix of the United States.

Bahamian veteran Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie was third.

Sherone Simpson of Jamaica won her heat, ahead of American Muna Lee and Emily Freeman of Great Britain.

Rogaya al-Gassra of Bahrain, Muriel Hurtis-Houaiari of France and Sri Lanka's Susathinka Jayasinghe were top 3 in their heat.

Cydonie Mothersill of Cayman Islands had the fastest of time of the women not in the top 3 of their heat, running in 22.83 seconds.

The semifinals will take place on Wednesday night at Bird's Nest Stadium, with the gold medal race the following evening.

With files from the Associated Press