Defar sets new record

Meseret Defar of Ethiopia broke the women's 5000 metre world record on Friday at the Bislett Games in Oslo.

updated: June 17, 2007 07:14 IST
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Meseret Defar of Ethiopia broke the women's 5000 metre world record on Friday at the Bislett Games in Oslo.

Defar's time of 14 minutes, 16.63 seconds beat her old record set in New York last year by over eight seconds.

In other events at the first Golden League meeting of the season, there were wins for world record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica in the men's 100 metres and Sanya Richards in the women's 400 metres.

Both shared last year's Golden League jackpot of one million US dollars, along with 400 metre runner Jeremy Wariner.

Oslo played host to the first Golden League meeting of the season on Friday at the Bislett Stadium.

With the world athletic championships later in the season, this is an important year for the leading athletes.

Also at stake of course in the golden league meetings is the one million US dollar jackpot awarded to any athlete who wins their event at every meet.

Stephanie Durst put herself into contention by doing well in the women's 100 metres, winning in 11.22 seconds.

It was a close race however with Sheri Ann Brooks of Jamaica second in 11.23 and Cydone Mothersill of Bahamas third in 11.25.

Asafa Powell was one of three athletes who won a share of the jackpot last season and the 100 metre world record holder remains on course to repeat that success this time around.

The Jamaican easily won his event in 9.94 seconds.

Portugal's Francis Obikwelu was second in 10.06.

Britain's Marlon Devonish, who had finished third in 10.08, was later disqualified for having run in two events on the same day.

The 31-year-old was a last-minute inclusion after earlier running in the 'B' race and was replaced in third position by Nigeria's Olufasuba Olusoji, who finished in 10.25.

The race was held in near-perfect conditions under sunny skies and a slight tailwind.

Last year, Powell twice equalled his world record of 9.77, set in June 2005 in Athens, Greece.

He still shares the record with Justin Gatlin of the United States, who has acknowledged a doping violation and faces being stripped of the mark.

Sanya Richards of the United States also won a share of the jackpot in 2006 and she won her 400 metre event on Friday.

The American ran a time of 50.26 seconds to take the event.
Amy Mbacke Tiam of Senegal was second in 51.22 with Shericka Williams of Jamaica third a further 0.10 seconds behind.

The highlight of the evening however was the women's 5000 metres, as Meseret Defar broke the world record with a time of 14 minutes, 16.63 seconds.

She set the old record of 14:24.53 in New York last year.
It was the 56th world record set at the Bislett Stadium since 1924.

Vivian Cheruiyot also finished under the old record at 14:22.51 for second, and fellow Kenyan Jepleting Prisca Ngetich was third in 14:44.51.

The women's 100 metre hurdles was won by Michelle Perry of the US in 12.70 seconds.

European champion Susanna Kallur of Sweden was second in 12.76 with Delloreen Ennis London of Jamaica third 0.02 seconds slower.

There was a surprise result in the Men's Dream Mile.

Kenyans Alex Kipchirchir and Daniel Kipchirchir Komen, plus Australia's Craig Mottram were hotly tipped to win one of the blue ribband events on the athletics scene, but in the end it was Morocco's Adil Kaouch who had the finish to win in a time of 3 minutes 51.14 seconds.

The silver medallist from last year's World Championships led Augustine Choge of Kenya and Britain's Andrew Badderly across the line, with Komen fading into fourth.

In the field there was success once again for world and Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia who cleared 4.85 metres in the women's pole vault competition.

The men's javelin was won by Tero Pitkamaki of Finland with his second throw of 88.78 metres.

While Britain's Phillips Odowu took the men's triple jump with a leap of 17.35 metres.

The night however belonged to the diminutive figure of Defar, who had plenty of her compatriots around to celebrate her success.