Africa has won her first gold medal at the Rio Olympics thanks to the record breaking effort of Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana in the women’s 10,000m.
Ayana raced to gold, breaking the world record over the distance – her time of 29 minutes 17.45 seconds dethroned the previous mark (29:31.78) by China’s Wang Junxia, a record set 23 years ago.
“This means everything for me. I never thought that this would happen and I’m so in awe. I’m very happy to get here,” Ayana said after the race.
This means everything for me. I never thought that this would happen and I'm so in awe. I'm very happy to get here.
The International Association of Athletics Federations, (IAAF) took to Twitter to congratulate the new world record holder on her feat.
IAAF (@iaaforg) August 12, 2016
Africa bags silver and bronze
Africa bagged the other medal slots in the same race as Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot won the silver and Ayana’s fellow national, Tirunesh Dibaba took bronze. Dibaba had previously won the Olympic golds over 10,000 in London and Beijing.
32-year-old Vivian Cheruiyot set a Kenyan record of 29:32.53 with her effort. The long distance athlete who also does cross country running was hoping to be third time lucky after failing to win gold in Beijing and London.
“I really hope I will win an Olympic title as that is what is missing in my collection,” she was quoted by Kenyan media to have said ahead of today’s race.