Ayana denies Dibaba with stunning 5,000m gold

Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:27am EDT
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By Nick Mulvenney

BEIJING (Reuters) - Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana put on a stunning display of front-running to win the women's 5,000 meters by more than 17 seconds at the world championships on Sunday and deprive compatriot Genzebe Dibaba of an unprecedented double gold.

The 23-year-old powered away from Dibaba with four laps to go and led home an Ethiopian podium sweep in a championship record time of 14 minutes 26.83 seconds.

Dibaba, who was hoping to become the first woman to win both the 1,500m and 5,000m at the same world championships or Olympics, was piped at the line by compatriot Senbere Teferi, who took silver in 14.44.07.

"I had to win the gold medal," Ayana told reporters. "It was a hard race, a hard competition in general. It was great for our country that we won gold, silver and bronze."

The 24-year-old Dibaba, who was almost as dominant in the 1,500m on Tuesday as Ayana was in the 5,000m, went with her compatriot when she initially broke to the front of the field with seven laps to go.

After aggravating an injury during her 1,500m triumph, however, she was unable to stand the pace when Ayana moved up another gear.

To add insult to injury, the championship record Ayana bettered was set by bronze medalist Dibaba's sister Tirunesh at the 2005 world championships.

"My country won three medals, I can only be pleased about this," she said.   Continued...

Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia poses with her national flag after winning the women's 5000 metres final at the 15th IAAF Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China August 30, 2015.  REUTERS/Dylan Martinez