Gharib wins marathon title in Helsinki

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Day eight at the World Athletics Championships started with the men's marathon.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:53 IST
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Day eight at the World Athletics Championships started with the men's marathon. Morocco's Jaouad Gharib became only the second man after Abel Anton of Spain to win consecutive marathon world titles. Gharib pulled away from the field near the 30-kilometre mark, securing victory in two hours, ten minutes, and ten seconds. Christopher Isegwe of Tanzania was second, 11 seconds behind Gharib, while Japan's Tsuyoshi Ogata was third in two hours, 11 minutes, and 16 seconds. Unbeaten outdoor In the 400 hurdles, Yulia Pechonkina continued her unbeaten outdoor record this year to give Russia its fifth gold medal of the championships. Pechonkina clocked 52.90 seconds, finishing ahead of Americans Lashinda Demus and Sandra Glover. Nadezhda Ostapchuk of Belarus won the shot put with a throw of 20.51 metres, beating Olga Ryabinkina of Russia and Valerie Vili of New Zealand. On another good day for the United States, Dwight Phillips retained his long jump title with a leap of 8.60 metres. Ignisious Gaisah of Ghana took silver and Finland's Tommi Evila grabbed bronze. Tirunesh Dibaba completed a historic long-distance double when she defended her 5,000-metres title by leading an Ethiopian sweep of the top four places. No woman had won both the 5,000 and the 10,000 at one championships before. Dibaba won the 10,000 on the opening day last week. Championship record And no women from the same country had ever swept the top four at a world championships before. The 19-year-old Dibaba won in a championship-record time of 14 minutes, 38.59 seconds. Reigning Olympic champion Meseret Defar was second, followed by Dibaba's older sister, Ejegayehu Dibaba. Meselech Melkamu took fourth. Lauryn Williams ran a superb anchor leg for the United States in the women's 4x100 metres relay to win her second gold medal of this year's competition. Williams powered away in the final straight, securing gold for the United States in 41.78 seconds. Olympic champions Jamaica were second and Belarus third. It was America's 13th gold medal, matching the championship record it set in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1993. France won the men's 4x100 metres relay for the first time in world championships history in 38.08 seconds. Trinidad and Tobago was second in 38.10 seconds. Britain claimed bronze - their first medal of the meet. The championships conclude on Sunday. (AP)