RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia smashed the world record to win the women’s 10,000m gold medal in the first session on day one of track and field action at Rio 2016 on Friday.
Running just her second ever race over this distance, Ayana, who took more than 14 seconds off the previous world record, set by Wang Junxia in 1993, easily moved away from her rivals, despite the contenders running faster than they’ve ever gone before.
The Ethiopian, who checked the clocked constantly throughout the race, covered the 25 lap event in a NEW WORLD RECORD time of 29:17.45 to take the gold medal, well inside the old mark of 29:31.78.
Kenya’s world champion Vivian Cheruiyot improved on her bronze medal from 2012 in London with a silver this time – crossing the finishing line in a new personal best and national record of 29:32.53.
Defending champion Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia ran a personal best of 29:42.56 for the bronze.
Alice Aprot Nawowuna of Kenya was fourth in 29:53.51.
For the first time in history, four women went under 30-minutes in the event.
Molly Huddle of USA set a new Area Record of 30:13.17 for sixth place, while Betsy Saina of Kenya ran a personal bet time of 30:07.78 for fifth place.
In what turned out to be a very fast race in the end, some 18 personal bests were set, while seven other national records were accomplished alongside the world record of Ayana.