Mare Dibaba Ethiopian long distance runner earns thrilling marathon win

Ethiopia's Mare Dibaba claimed the women's marathon at the World Championships in thrilling fashion, breaking away only once inside the Bird's Nest.

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Ethiopia's Mare Dibaba claimed the women's marathon at the World Championships in thrilling fashion, breaking away from a group of four only once inside the Bird's Nest.

Dibaba, 25, won her first major marathon medal with a stunning burst in the home straight of Beijing's Olympic stadium, finishing in a time of two hours, 27 minutes and 35 seconds from Kenya's Helah Kiprop (2:27:36).

Kiprop was set to be the unlucky one of the leading quartet to miss a medal when she was lagging at the back of the group approaching the stadium's entrance, but it would be countrywoman Jemima Sumgong who came in fourth (2:27:42) - behind bronze medallist Eunice Kirwa (2:27:39).

Rather than fading late, Kiprop proved to be Dibaba's threat to the gold medal in the final straight, and loomed to overtake her before the Ethiopian surged again.

Kirwa clinched Bahrain's first marathon medal at a world championships, while Dibaba's win was Ethiopia's first gold medal in the endurance event at an IAAF showpiece.

Two-time defending champion Edna Kiplagat was fifth, the 35-year-old Kenyan dropping off the leading pack approaching the 40-kilometre mark as Dibaba upped the ante.

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