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Haile Gebrselassie defeats Paul Tergat at the 2000 Olympics

Top 10 contests from the Sydney Olympics

#6 – Women’s 5000m

A classic championship distance race. A reasonable sized pack of seven athletes still together through 4000m in a solid 11:53, before a swift final lap blew the field apart. The Ethiopian trio of Gete Wami, Ayelech Worku and Werknesh Kidane controlled the pace, with Romania’s Gabriella Szabo and Ireland’s Sonia O’Sullivan on their heels.

With 650m to go it was Szabo, Wami and O’Sullivan who tussled for the lead, with Szabo assuming it. But the pace didn’t really quicken, with the condensed pack all there at the bell.

Germany’s Irinia Mikitenko tried to take the lead the bell but the diminutive Szabo held to the lead, wanting to maintain the opportunity to unleash her renowned finishing kick unobstructed at the head of the field. O’Sullivan was placed perfect to pounce, one back, one out behind Mikitenko.

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With 250m remaining it was on. Szabo accelerated but masterfully held a wide line at the edge of lane one, with O’Sullivan going with her and on the edge of lane two. And then Szabo accelerated further, this time running on the inside of lane one. O’Sullivan matched her around the bend and moved wide to pounce down the home straight. Down the home straight Szabo appeared to be finding another gear, but wasn’t really adding any gap to the tenancious run from O’Sullivan. But at the same time, O’Sullivan couldn’t find a way to decrease the small gap, with a 60.01 second final lap from Szabo securing her the gold medal by 0.23 seconds in a time of 14:40.79.

In third, Wami added bronze to the silver medal she picked up in the 10000m, finishing in 14:42.23.

Next -> #5 – Women’s Pole Vault
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