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Ethiopia's Defar sets women's 5,000 world record
PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:55 pm Reply with quote
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Ethiopia's Defar sets women's 5,000 world record at Reebok GP

21:22:16 EDT Jun 3, 2006


NEW YORK (AP) - Meseret Defar of Ethiopia set the world record in the women's 5,000 meters in 14 minutes, 24.53 seconds at the Reebok Grand Prix on Saturday.



Defar easily outpaced the field to break the mark of 14:24.68, set by Turkey's Elvan Abeylegesse in 2004. Workitu Ayanu of Ethiopia was second to Defar in 14:50.51.

The 22-year-old Defar ran a blazing closing lap in 61 seconds, and was greeted to loud cheers when she crossed the line. "New York, New York" started blaring on the public address system.

"I was very confident when I saw the time with a lap to go that I could break the record," Defar said.

Defar won Olympic gold in Athens in the 5,000 and finished second at the world championships last year. She tried to break the indoor record in the 3,000 at the Boston Indoor meet in January but fell just short for the second straight year.

Defar ended up winning in 8:30.94, just missing out on breaking Ethiopian Berhane Adere's 4-year-old world record of 8:29.15.

"I tried to break the 3K indoor record before and I tried on the roads for this so I'm happy now I've got this," she said. "After the 3,000, I was dreaming and I knew I could beat the record."

Defar got a boost last week from heralded fellow Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie when they saw each other at a meet in Hengelo, Netherlands. Gebrselassie, who won Olympic gold in the 10,000 in 1996 and 2000, encouraged Defar to go for the record.

"I was in Hengelo with Haile, he said to me, 'You can do it. You can beat the record in New York.' After that, I knew I could," she said.

Defar said she will run in five Golden League meets in Europe this summer and said, "I want to win all five."

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Ethiopia's Defar sets women's 5,000 world record
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