posted on Aug, 27 2004 @ 03:15 PM
Xing Huina of China surged past Ethiopia's Ejegayehu Dibaba in the final turn Friday night to win the women's 10,000 meters at the Olympics. The 20
year old Xing covered the distance in a personal best 30 minutes, 24.36 seconds. She waved to the crowd after crossing the finish line and caught a
Chinese flag tossed out of the stands.
Dibaba held off fellow Ethiopian and two time gold medalist Derartu Tulu for second, finishing in 30:24.98. Tulu, who won the event in 1992 and 2000,
finished third in 30:26.12.
The race came down to five runners, Xing, Dibaba, Tulu, Ethiopian Werknesh Kidane and Lornah Kiplagat, of the Netherlands.
Kiplagat, her orange-yellow pony tail bobbing with every step, took a brief lead before the Ethiopian trio overtook her with five laps left. Xing was
fifth, then moved to third behind Kidane and Dibaba with two laps left.
Dibaba and Xing passed a slowing Kidane in the final lap and Xing made her move 100 meters from the finish.
Algerian Souad Ait Salem fell with 10 laps to go. Volunteers helped her to the sideline and carried her off the track on a stretcher.
Paula Radcliffe, of Britain, a top-5 finisher in the event in the last two Olympics, stopped running with eight laps to go. Radcliffe dropped out of
last Sunday's marathon with four miles left and made a last-minute decision to enter the 10,000.
"My legs just hadn't recovered since Sunday," she said.