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Ethiopia snatches first gold as legendary runner wins at All Africa Games
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09:32, July 19, 2007

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Ethiopia won its first gold medal at the ninth All Africa Games on Wednesday evening when Olympic and world 5,000-meter record holder Meseret Defar won in the women 's 5,000 meters by clocking 15 minutes and 2.72 seconds.

The silver medal also went to Ethiopia with Melkamu Meselech falling behind Defar by 1.14 seconds. Kenya's Silvia Kibet took the bronze medal with a time of 15 minutes and 6.39 seconds.

Before Defar's victory, Ethiopia, a major African power in track and field athletics, had not collected any gold at the fortnight All Africa Games, being held in the Algerian capital, entered its 7th day.

Four years ago at the eighth All-Africa Games in the Nigerian capital Abuja, Defar also took the gold with a time of 16 minutes 42 seconds.

Defar, born in 1983 in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, won the gold medal in the women's 5,000 meters at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens with a time of 14 minutes and 45.65 seconds.

In June of 2006, Defar ran the 5,000 meters in New York in a then-world record time of 14 minutes and 24.53 seconds. Yet the record was again improved by her to 14 minutes and 16.63 seconds in Oslo of Norway on June 15 this year.

Source: Xinhua

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