Ethiopian runner Meseret Dafar has won the gold medal in the women's 5,000-meter event at London's Olympic Stadium.
Early in the race a gold medal seemed unlikely as Tirunesh Dibaba, also of Ethiopia and the winner of the 10,000-meter, threatened to run away with the honours. However, the 28-year-old Dafar ran an excellent last lap to claim victory in 15:04.25s. Dibaba eventually took bronze, finishing behind Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot and her time of 15:04.73s.
Great Britain's Jo Pavey and Julia Bleasdale also enjoyed good starts, with both women jogging at a consistent pace. But they fell behind as the race moved into its final stages and finished in seventh and eighth positions. Bleasdale, however, said she had gained confidence from the event.
"I came to this Olympic Games saying I am not here for the tracksuit and I think I have shown I am capable of competing with the best in the world. The next stage is to show I can be one of the best in the world," said Bleasdale, according to a BBC report.
Russian Woman Breaks Hammer Throw Record
Meanwhile, Russia's Tatyana Lysenko claimed gold in the women's hammer throw, with an Olympic record of 78.18m. The 28-year-old Russian received a two-year ban in 2007 after being found guilty of doping, but wasted no time in proving her point in London. She broke the record of 76.34m, set by Belarus' Aksana Miankova at the Beijing Olympics 2008, with a throw of 77.56m on her very first attempt. She broke the Olympic record again with her final throw.
Poland's Anita Wlodarczyk claimed silver with a throw of 77.60m and Betty Heidler of Germany registered 77.12m to take a bronze medal. The bronze had been awarded to China's Zhan Wenxiu, but officials discovered that errors had been made in measuring the throws and re-awarded the bronze to Heidler.