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Thursday, 01 September 2016 15:48

Almaz Ayana Dominates Olympic 10,000m in 29:17.45 WR Featured

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BY LARRY EDER—Almaz Ayana has just destroyed the World Record in the 10,000 meters, running 29:17.45 to take over 14 seconds off the World Record set by Wang Junxia of China nearly 23 years ago! Ayana stayed in the lead pack for 5000 meters, and then, rushed for home, chased by Vivan Cheruiyot. Ayana's style of light running, with a gifted stride took her lead from four seconds to fourteen, as Vivian Cheruiyot guttily held on for the silver medal. Tirunesh Dibaba, the 2008 and 2012 champion, took third from Alice Nawowuna, who lead for the first five kilometers. Here is how I saw the race transpire:
With Alice Nawowuna, KEN, leading through 5k, in a sub 30 minute pace, the pack dropped from 34 to eight quite fast. Nowowuna hit 1k in 3:01.53, 2k in 5:55.79, 3k in 8:52.79, 4k in 11:49.79 and 5k in 14:46.81. Molly Huddle hit 5k in 14:55, after slowing the pace down so she did not crash. First it was Geleta Burke who dropped back, then, Yasemin Can, Euro champ, as Molly Huddle moved into sixth near the end of the race, setting AR of 30:13.17.
And the weather gods were good to the distance runners, with cool weather and little wind!
Almaz had come oh so close to 5000m WR in Rome and today the 10,000 meter record was hers. Almaz took lead after 5000m, with Nawowuna dropping back, loosing a spirited fight for bronze to 2012 champ Tirunesh Dibaba, 29:42.56 PB to 29:53.51 for Nawowuna (PB).

Upfront, Almaz Ayana continued to fly, running 14:36 for the last 5000m! Ayana ran 17:36.74 for 6000m, with 4 seconds on Vivian Cheruiyot at 7k, in 20:29.98, with 8 seconds on Cheruiyot. Ayana dominated, flying around the track, hitting 8k in 23:25.37for ten second lead, and hitting the 9000 meters in 26:22.88.

Kudoes to Vivian Cheruiyot, who did her Raging Bull impersonation, hanging on with true guts for the silver in NR of 29:32.53!

But, today is all about Almaz Ayana, who just destroyed the Chinese world records, records questioned by many. Today, Almaz Ayana ran 29:17.45, a new World Record, as the women's 10,000m WR goes to Ethiopia!
Almaz Ayana is the Emil Zatopek of women's running, churning lap after lap, until she takes the win. The difference is that Almaz Ayana has beautiful form. The 10,000 meters may be her perfect distance! But, we will get to see Almaz race again over 5,000 meters later in the schedule!
As Franco Fava, noted Italian runner and sports journalist told me, as we raved about the race afterwards, "this was a fantastic race! Fast like races in Oslo!"
Women's 10,000m, 1. Almaz Ayana, ETH, 29:17.45, WR, 2. Vivian Cheruiyot, KEN, 29:32.53, NR, 3. Tirunesh Dibaba, ETH, 29:42.56 PB, 4. Alice Aprot Nawowuna, KEN, 29:53.51, PB, 5. Betsy Saina, KEN, 30:07.78 PB, 6. Molly Huddle, USA, 30:13.17 AR
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