Mon, Aug 08, 2005 - Page 19 News List

Ethiopians sweep women's 10,000m

WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS Tirunesh Dibaba took the gold as defending champion Berhane Adere and Ejegayehu Dibaba ended second and third, respectively


Ethopian Tirunesh Dibaba, left, and compatriots Berhane Adere, second from right, and Ejegayehu Dibaba, center, compete in the women's 10,000m race at the 10th IAAF World Athletics Championships, Helsinki, Finland, Saturday. At right is Edith Masai of Kenya. Dibaba finished first, with Adere second and Dibaba third.


Teenager Tirunesh Dibaba led an Ethiopian sweep in the women's 10,000m Saturday at the world championships with as much ease as American Justin Gatlin showed to reach the semifinals of the 100m.

Dibaba will now go for a long-distance sweep in the 5,000m, which the 19-year-old won two years ago in Paris. Dibaba held off defending champion Berhane Adere and her sister Ejegayehu Dibaba, winning in 30:24.02.

After finishing second twice at the worlds and at the Olympics, American shot putter Adam Nelson finally won gold, holding off Rutger Smith of the Netherlands and Ralf Bartels of Germany. Intense and pumped up, Nelson threw 21.73m on his first attempt.

Triple world champion John Godina failed to make the final.

Olympic champion Gatlin is feeling so confident at the championships that he's already thinking about a world record.

He breezed into semifinals of the 100m Saturday, easily dominating both a sunny opening heat and a gusty quarterfinal to set him up for the first of possibly three sprint titles.

Running into a strong headwind, Gatlin only managed 10.27 to win the quarterfinal heat.

"I haven't run that slow in a long time," he said. "But I am still dominant."

He said he could cut more than half a second to win Sunday's final and get the world record if needed.

"If it takes a world record I will go out and run a world record," Gatlin said.

Gatlin's task in the 100m was made easier by the no-show of world record-holder Asafa Powell, who is out with a groin injury after setting a mark of 9.77 early in the season. Gatlin's top time this season is 9.89.

Later in the championships, Gatlin wants to add more golds in the 200m and 400m relay to emulate the 1999 feat of sprinting great Maurice Greene.

Defending champion Kim Collins finished only fourth in his quarterfinal and had to wait until the session was over before learning he was the last of 16 to go through.

Darrel Brown of Trinidad and Tobago had the top time of 10.10.

Defending champion and former Olympic champion Jefferson Perez of Ecuador clinched the first gold of the competition, winning the 20km walk ahead of Spaniards Francisco Fernandez and Juan Manuel Molina. Perez finished in 1:18:35.

Olympic heptathlon champion Carolina Kluft, performing on a tender ankle, fought back from a bad start to keep up 2001 champion Eunice Barber.

``I was not confident about my foot and I was not able to push hard on it. If you are not confident it is impossible to be at your best,'' Kluft said.

Still, it was almost good enough to end the first day in first place. Barber held off Kluft by a tiny 3,973-3,971 margin.

After the Swede finished second to Barber in the opening 100m hurdles, the margin widened further during the high jump. Kluft cleared 1.82m, 12 centimeters below her season's best. Barber, equaled her best this season with a jump of 1.91.

Kluft got back into the race with a personal best of 15.02 meters in the shot put, while Barber only managed her season's best of 13.20.

Roared on by the Nordic crowd at the 40,000-capacity Olympic Stadium, Kluft's time of 23.70 seconds in the 200m edged Barber's by .31, bringing both close together ahead of Sunday's three events.

Even though Tatyana Lebedeva qualified for the final of the triple jump, the Russian forfeited two attempts after a mediocre opening jump of 14.15 and scraped through as the 10th of 12 qualifiers.

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