Defar slashes World 5000m record in Oslo

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    Oslo, Norway – Olympic champion Meseret Defar of Ethiopia tonight slashed her existing World record for the women’s 5000m by almost eight seconds to finish in 14:16.63, the pinnacle of a marvellous night of athletics at the ExxonMobil Bislett Games, the start of the IAAF Golden League 2007.

    Paced through the first 2000m (5:42.60) of the 5000m by Russian Olga Komyagina, with only Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya else for company, Defar took the race through 8:35.76 after the ‘rabbit’ dropped out with seven laps to go. In Defar’s World record run in New York last year (3 June 2006) when she set the previous all-time fastest of 14:23.53, she had been paced through 3km in 8:42.8, and so it was quite apparent that we were in for something very special this evening if Defar had strength enough to see it through.

    Defar’s ultimate demolishment of the World record in this event was the greatest single improvement since the Ingrid Kristiansen and Zola Budd rivalries of the mid -1980s when over 10 seconds was wiped off the then 5000m record on two occasions.

    IAAF article

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