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Dibaba gets unprecedented Olympic double

Dibaba gets unprecedented Olympic double

Tirunesh Dibaba claimed an unprecedented long-distance double at the Olympics on Friday, winning the 5,000 meters to achieve something great Ethiopians like Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele have been unable to do.
In an intense battle with rival Meseret Defar, Dibaba kicked for home with 500 meters to go. Defar, the defending champion, just cracked.
Defar was even passed by Ethiopian-born Elvan Abeylegesse of Turkey, who claimed her second silver after she was beaten by Dibaba in the 10,000, too.
Bekele is going for a similar double in the 5,000 on Saturday, after barely missing out four years ago.
Crossing the line, Dibaba timidly clenched her fists, briefly raised her arms in triumph and quickly turned around to console her rivals.
Do not expect the same treatment if Usain Bolt gets a third gold on Friday if Jamaica wins the 4x100 relay.
The 100- and 200-meter champion set world records in both races and considering the strength of the Jamaican squad, he could add a third world record Friday.
Jamaican sprinters finally proved they were fallible, however, botching the handover of the baton in the women's 4x100 relay they were overwhelmingly expected to win.
Russia profited, unexpectedly adding another gold, and Belgium got its first medal of the Olympics when European champion Kim Gevaert followed close behind. Nigeria took bronze.
The United States was eliminated in the heats.
Maurren Higa Maggi earned Brazil a gold medal in the women's long jump.
The world indoor silver medalist led from the first round at 7.04 meters and it proved enough for gold.
World and defending Olympic champion Tatyana Lebedeva of Russia, who took silver in the triple jump, got another silver, finishing only one centimeter behind the Brazilian on her final attempt.
Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria took bronze, a bigger blessing than it seems.
She was only allowed into the final after Lyudmila Blonska was disqualified after failing a doping test in the heptathlon, where she had won silver.
"I'm shocked," Okagbare said. "It is the biggest miracle."
Carolina Kluft, the three-time world champion and 2004 Athens Olympics heptathlon champion, finished ninth.
The way decathlete Bryan Clay is performing, it is almost a lock that he will get to keep the gold medal.
Clay had 7,365 points with only Friday night's javelin and 1,500 meters remaining.
He was 316 points ahead of his nearest competitor, Andrei Krauchanka of Belarus, who had 7,049. Alexander Pogorelov of Russia was third with 6,979 points.
The last U.S. gold medalist in the event was Dan O'Brien in Atlanta in 1996.
In his three events during Friday's daytime session, Clay was second-fastest in the 110 hurdles (13.93 seconds), set an Olympic best in the discus at 53.79 meters, then cleared 5.00 meters in the pole vault, tied for second-best in the competition.
Clay was supposed to have a tough battle with Roman Sebrle, but the Czech has been disappointing. The reigning world and defending Olympic champion was seventh with 6,823 points.
Under a clear sky and increasingly hot sun with morning temperatures approaching 30 degrees C (85 degrees F), Alex Schwazer of Italy won the longest event on the program, the 50-kilometer walk.
With a break 10 kilometers from the finish, he pulled away from the leading group and held on to beat Jared Tallent of Australia, who won bronze in the 20K.
Denis Nizhegorodov of Russia, the silver medalist from the Athens Games and world record holder, took bronze.
Schwazer finished in 3:37:09, slicing 1:20 off the 20-year-old Olympic record.
Schwazer was third at the last two world championships when he blamed bad tactics for missing gold.
This time, he was part of a leading group of four in the initial breakaway and then took off on a solo burst. Confident enough, he raised a finger for No. 1 to the Italian fans lining the course with less than three kilometers to go.


Updated : 2021-06-25 04:52 GMT+08:00