Defar breaks women’s 5,000 world record
OSLO, Norway ” Meseret Defar of Ethiopia broke her own women’s world record in the 5,000 meters Friday by finishing in 14 minutes, 16.63 seconds at the Bislett Games, the opening meet in the Golden League.
She set the previous mark of 14:24.53 in New York last year.
In the men’s 100, world record-holder Asafa Powell led throughout to win in 9.94 seconds under sunny skies and with a slight tail wind.
“I’m very happy with my time,” Powell said. “It was very cold earlier in the week and I’m glad the weather changed.”
Vivian Cheruiyot was second to Defar in 14:22.51 and fellow Kenyan Jepleting Prisca Ngetich was third in 14:44.51.
Defar and the other front-runners were below world record pace the entire race. At the 2,000 mark, the leaders were five seconds faster, and at 3,000 more than seven seconds inside.
Defar’s world record was the 56th set at Bislett Stadium since 1924, and the first since the venue was rebuilt three years ago.
Powell’s time was one hundredth of a second slower than the season’s world best so far, the 9.93 run by Walter Dix last week at the NCAA track and field championships in California.
Powell eased up near the finish, and finished 0.12 ahead of European champion Francis Obikwelu of Portugal. Marlon Devonish of Britain was third in 10.08.
Powell, who went undefeated last season, has 27 sub-10 races. Two weeks ago, the Jamaican clocked 9.97 in Belgrade, Serbia, in his return from a bout with knee tendinitis.
Last year, 24-year-old twice equaled the world record of 9.77 he set in June 2005 in Athens, Greece.
He shares the mark with Justin Gatlin of the United States, who has acknowledged a doping violation and faces being stripped of the record.
In the women’s 100, Stephanie Durst of the United States won in 11.21 to edge Sheri-Ann Brooks of Jamaica by 0.1.
In the men’s discus, Virgilijus Alekna broke the Bislett stadium record with a throw of 231 feet, 4 inches (70.51 meters).
“I was tense early on, but then I relaxed and threw well,” said Alekna, the two-time Olympic and world champion from Lithuania who is unbeaten since August 2005.
Gerd Kanter of Estonia, who is the world leader so far this year at 236-3 (72.02), finished second at 217-7 (66.33) and Poland’s Piotr Malachowski third at 216-6 (66.00).
Jurgen Schult of Germany set the world record of 243-0 (74.08) in 1986. Alekna has the world’s second best throw, a 242-5 (73.88).
Other early winners included Sweden’s Johan Wissman in the 200 meters in 20.32 seconds and Kenya’s Brimin Kipruto in the 1,500 in 3 minutes, 36.27 seconds.
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