Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana 'so in awe' as she smashes 10,000m world record to take gold

Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana 'so in awe' as she smashes 10,000m world record to take gold

By Will Downing, Rio

The 22-year-old women’s 10000m world record of 29:31.78 set by Wang Junxia in 1993 was obliterated by Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana to claim the first athletics gold of Rio 2016.

Ayana produced a startling run at the Olympic Stadium to storm home in 29 minutes 17.45 seconds, taking more than 14 seconds off the mark set by China's Wang Junxia in 1993.

Vivian Cheruiyot ran a Kenyan record to take silver, but was still more than 15 seconds behind her 24-year-old rival.

The blue track is clearly quick, with the top 13 finishers all running personal bests, but Ayana's display was still barely believable.

At one stage, Ayana was half a minute inside the world record.

Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot was just outside the old record, claiming silver in 29:32.53, while Ethiopia’s defending champion Tirunesh Dibaba was third in 29:42.56, missing out on a bid to win a historic third straight gold in the event.

Ayana said afterwards: "Getting to this point is a dream come true. I never thought that this would happen and I'm so in awe. I'm very happy to get here.

"I have worked very hard. I wouldn't say that my recent training has been any different from before but it was hard and it was all worth it."

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