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  • Rio Olympics 2016: Jemima Sumgong wins women's marathon for Kenya

    Jemima Sumgong became the first Kenyan woman to win the Olympic marathon, beating Eunice Kirwa of Bahrain.

    Ethiopia's world champion Mare Dibaba took the bronze medal as her compatriot and race favourite Tigist Tufa pulled out before the halfway mark.

    London Marathon winner Sumgong, 31, finished in two hours 24 minutes four seconds to end a run of three straight silvers in the event for Kenya.

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  • Rio Olympics 2016: Mo Farah makes history by winning 10,000m gold

    Mo Farah of Great Britain joined the ranks of men who have successfully defended their 10,000m title, running 27:05.17 for the win on Saturday night.

    Farah, who has won every global title on offer at this distance and is unbeaten over 25 laps of the track since 2011, took a tumble at halfway when an accidental clip from his sometime training partner Galen Rupp saw him sprawled out in lane two.

    He bounced to his feet immediately and gave Rupp a thumbs-up when Rupp came back to check on him.

    “I thought about all my hard work, and that it could all be gone in a minute. I wasn’t going to let it go. I got up quickly,” Farah told reporters later.

    The mishap immediately drew comparisons to Lasse Viren’s near-disastrous fall in the 1972 final in Munich, but Farah’s position was never so precarious as that of the Finn. Farah spent the early going loping at the very back of the pack as a rotating cast of faces took turns at the front.

    He only moved up when, in the third kilometre, Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola and Yigrem Demelash took the pace up a notch.

    Within a few laps it became clear that Tola and Demelash were working together to force the pace. Each would take a turn at the front, pushing, then letting the other take over as their own effort flagged.

    The Kenyan duo of Geoffrey Kamworor and Paul Tanui shadowed the Ethiopians, apparently understanding the plan but not ready to take their turn at the front right away.

    It wasn’t until the second half of the race – not long after Farah’s tumble, which happened out of view of the five at the front – that the Kenyans took a shift in the lead.

    From 1000m to 5000m, each kilometre got faster, but the sixth slowed slightly as the Ethiopian duo began to run more cautiously.


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  • Amazing Almaz!

    A new Olympic star has emerged in Ethiopia and it is none other than the amazing Almaz Ayana. The 25-year-old athlete smashed both the World and Olympic records in a spectacular manner to win the 10,000m at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, clocking 29:17.45 to win the first athletics gold medal of the Games.

    The race was fast from the outset with Kenya’s Alice Aprot Nawowuna setting the early pace, taking the field through 3000m in 8:52 and 5000m in 14:46, indicating a finishing time well inside 30 minutes.

    Almaz soon took over the lead and increased the pace, opening up a gap on world champion Vivian Cheruiyot and Olympic gold medalist Tirunesh Dibaba. It soon became clear that she was operating at world record pace, while her pursuers were also on course for huge lifetime bests.

    She eventually crossed the finish line in 29:17.45 to take more than 14 seconds off the world record set by Wang Junxia back in 1993.

    Cheruiyot finished second in a Kenyan record of 29:32.53 while 2008 and 2012 Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba set a lifetime best of 29:42.46 to take bronze.

    "This means everything for me. I never thought that this would happen & I'm so in awe. I'm very happy to get here." Almaz said after the race.

    All three women ran inside the old Olympic 10,000m record.

    Cheruiyot, Kenya's most decorated female athlete, also fell short in the 2012 London Games where she took bronze.

    The 31-year-old Tirunesh, who returned in 2016 from a two-year layoff following the birth of her son, was seeking to become the first woman in Olympic history to win an individual athletics event three times in a row.

    Almaz will now turn her attention to her preferred 5,000m distance, in which she is favorite to win and become only the second woman after Tirunesh to claim gold in both the 5,000 and 10,000 in the same Games.

    Source: Thereporterethiopia


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  • Ethiopian runner Almaz Ayana smashes 10,000 world record

    Ethiopian long-distance runner Almaz Ayana has set the world record in the women’s 10,000-meter race, finishing in 29 minutes and 17.45 seconds. In addition to winning the first gold medal for an African team in the 2016 Summer Olympics, Ayana beat the previous record, in place for the last 23 years, by a remarkable 14.46 seconds.

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  • Angry Bekele lashes out at federation after Rio omission

    ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Triple Olympic gold medal winner Kenenisa Bekele said he was bitterly disappointed to be left out of Ethiopia's team for the Rio Olympics and blamed members of the country's athletics federation he said knew nothing of the sport.

    "I'm deeply disappointed and sad. I have long overcome my Achilles tendon injury and I was ready for the challenge," the 34-year-old told French sports daily L’Equipe on Wednesday.

    Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele during a press conference ahead of the 2016 Virgin Money London MarathonAction Images via Reuters / Peter CziborraLivepic

    The 5,000 and 10,000 metres world record holder was left out of the marathon team having not run enough big races over the past year.

    "The federation set a criteria they knew very well would rule me out," he added.

    "I finished third in the London marathon (in April) when I was far from 100 percent fit. I'd done my preparation in full. Everyone knows that London is the toughest marathon except the people from the federation. There is a group there that know nothing about athletics.

    "According to their criteria I’m only seventh in the selection list. That they did not consider what I have done for Ethiopian athletics is one thing, but the problem is that they have not considered than my performances have been no worse than those who have been selected."

    Bekele won gold in the 10,000 metres at the Athens Olympics in 2004, and in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres in Beijing four years later.

    The Ethiopian Athletics Federation have picked 2016 Tokyo marathon winner Feyisa Lilesa and 2015 Boston champion Lelisa Desisa as well as Lemi Berhanu and Tesfaye Abera to run the marathon in Rio.

    Ethiopia's preparation for the Games, which begin on Aug. 5, have been disrupted by concerns over their drug-testing systems, after the IAAF governing body said in March that it was one of five countries that were in "critical care".

    The east African nation, which alongside neighbour Kenya has for many years dominated distance running on the track and roads, subsequently announced that it would carry out doping tests on up to 200 athletes.

    The Ethiopian Athletics Federation last week banned two athletes, Taemo Shumye and Sentayehu Merga, for four years after they tested positive for banned substances.

    The federation said four other athletes remain under investigation by the World Anti-Doping Agency and the IAAF for doping.

    (Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Additional reporting by Aaron Maasho; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)

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