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Jane Saville

Jane Saville hugs silver medallist Olimpiada Ivanova of Russia. (Getty Images)

Saville wins walking bronze

Last Updated: Monday, August 23, 2004. 5:48pm (AEST)

Australian Jane Saville has made up for some of her disappointment at being disqualified at the Sydney Olympics, by finishing third in the women's 20-kilometre walk in Athens.

Athanasia Tsoumeleka of Greece won the gold medal with Olimpiada Ivanova of Russia taking the silver.

Tsoumeleka won the event raced in oppressive conditions, with a time of 1 hour and 29.12 minutes for Greece's first gold medal of the track and field program.

In an almost sprint finish, all three medallists entered the Olympic stadium within seconds of each other.

Saville's sister Natalie finished in 36th position with Australia's other competitor Cheryl Webb coming home in 38th place.

Jane Saville said the bronze medal would help ease the pain of her Sydney disqualification, where she was rubbed out as she approached the Olympic stadium in first place.

"Nothing will make up for a gold medal in your home town, but you know this is where the Olympics began and any medal here, you know, I'm absolutely ecstatic with it," she said.

Natalie Saville said she was more focused on her sister's performance during the race, than her own.

"I was crying nearly out on the course and I saw my coach Matt who's her husband run across the thing and saying 'We got third'," she said.