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Tirunesh Dibaba

Jeré Longman, New York Times

The fierce Kenyan-Ethiopian rivalry renewed itself Friday, and the result in the women’s Olympic 10,000 meters was as reliably predictable as it was four years ago: Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba again drew away with a punishing kick to win the gold medal and perhaps establish herself as history’s greatest female distance runner.

If  you did not get to see the women’s 10,000 meter race on Friday, you definitely need to go back and watch it.  Here is a link to the video, and if you do not have time to watch it all, just make sure to watch the last two laps.

With the sound of the bell indicating the last lap, Tirunesh Dibaba took off as if she were shot out of a cannon.  What started out as a group of three runners right before the last lap, ended up being Dibaba smoking the rest of the competition.  In fact, she ran the last lap in 62.08 seconds, finishing almost a half a lap ahead of the next two runners.  The two Kenyans who were in it with 1 lap to go, never even had a chance.

Dibaba is a 27 year old track star from Ethiopia, whose nickname is “Baby Faced Destroyer.”  When I looked her up on Wikipedia (her website hasn’t really been updated since 2009), there was a long list of practically nothing but gold medal finishes.  She is good.  Here is a list of some of her accomplishments:

2012 Olympics, Gold Medalist – 10,000 meters

2008 Olympics, Gold Medalist – 10,000 meters

2008 Olympics,  Gold Medalist – 5,000 meters

2004 Olympics, Bronze Medalist – 5,000 meters

2007 World Championships, Gold Medalist – 5,000 meters

2005 World Championships, Gold Medalist – 10,000 meters

2005 World Championships, Gold Medalist – 5,000 meters

2003 World Championships, Gold Medalist – 5,000 meters

Dibaba also has the world record in the 5,000 meters, 14:11:15, which she set back in 2008.  She will also be making another attempt at the gold medal in the women’s 5,000 meters this Friday (which she won at the last Olympics.)  Being an amazing runner must run in her family, because other than Dibaba, the only other woman to win the 10,000 meters at the Olympics twice is her cousin, Deratu Tulu. I’m looking forward to a very exciting 5,000 meter race.

And on a side note, congrats to all of the amazing women who ran in the marathon this morning.  The Americans were amazing and watching Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan at the end was really an inspiring moment.  You ladies are awesome!

2012 Women’s Olympic Marathon
Photo courtesy of my friend Lesley who happens to be lucky enough to be in London this week


Happy Trails and Happy Running,


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