Ayana misses world record, Gatlin wins sprint in Rome

Thu Jun 2, 2016 7:04pm EDT
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ROME (Reuters) - Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana ran the second fastest women's 5,000 meters in history as she missed out on the world record by just over a second at the Rome Diamond League on Thursday.

The world champion finished more than 20 seconds ahead of Mercy Cherono of Kenya in 14:12.59 but failed to break the 14:11.15 set by compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba eight years ago.

World silver medalist Justin Gatlin won the 100 meters in a non-Diamond League race by edging fellow American Ameer Webb. The time was slower than a meet record of 9.75 seconds set last year.

Gatlin ran 9.93 seconds ahead of Webb (9.94) and European record holder Jimmy Vicaut (9.99) of France, the only three to dip under 10 seconds at the Olympic Stadium.

Rising prospect Webb at least had the consolation of having earlier coasted to victory in the 200 in 20.04 seconds.

World champion Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa won the men's 400 in 44.19 seconds while compatriot Caster Semenya equaled her world leading time this year in the 800 with a comfortable victory in 1:56.64.

"Now I need to be consistent, to maintain this shape until the Olympics," said Semenya of the August Games. "My dream, my main goal, is of course Olympic gold."

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Athletics - Women's 5000 meters - Golden Gala IAAF Diamond League - Olympic stadium, Rome, Italy 02/06/2016 - Ethiopia Almaz Ayana pose near time board. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi