Tirunesh Dibaba’s retains 10,000m gold in grand style
London, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – Ethiopian runners are known for their endurance and pluck. On Saturday, Tirunesh Dibaba gave a warning to her competitors not to mess around with her and her ilk in long-distance running when she won gold in 10,000m in 30min 20.75 seconds.
Dibaba’s feat means she is now on par with her cousin, Derartu Tulu, to have won two Olympic gold in women’s 10,000m. Dibaba, who defended her Beijing Games title, came up with a devastating burst of energy with just 600 meters to go, thus pushing Kenyans Sally Kipyego (30:26.37) and world champion Vivian Cheruiyot (30:30.44) to second and third spots, respectively.
Dibaba’s achievement is all the more creditable as she has hardly competed anywhere since her 5,000 and 10,000 triumph at Beijing.
Tomasz Majewski, 30, of Poland too defended her Beijing Games shot put title, when she threw the iron ball to a distance of 21.89 meters — her season’s best — on way to warding off the challenge from Germany’s world champion, David Storl, who was adrift by just three centimeters. The United States’ Reese Hoffa took the bronze with a heave of 21.23m.
Majewski thus became the first thrower since the US’s Parry O’Brien to retain the Olympic shot put title. O’Brien had achieved the feat at the 1952 and 1956 Games.
But it was British heptathlon queen, Jessica Ennis, who was the toast of the evening. It seemed the pinup girl was playing to the packed gallery as she recorded her personal bests in the 100m hurdles and 200m to take the overnight lead.
The former world champion bettered her personal best by 0.25sec on way to setting a British record of 12.54sec in hurdles. She then timed 22.83sec in 200m to take her tally to 4,158 points, 184 ahead of Austra Skujyte.
A beaming Ennis said after the day’s proceedings, witnessed by a sellout crowd of 80,000, that she was absolutely thrilled by her performance. She now has three more events — long jump, javelin and 800m — to take care of on the morrow.
She was quoted as saying that, “I knew coming into this I was in good shape but to be honest I couldn’t have imagined performing like this.”