By TOM ODULA, Associated Press Writer
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP)—Double Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia beat world champion Linet Masai of Kenya in the women’s 10,000 meters at the African Athletics Championships on Saturday.
Dibaba trailed for most the race before outsprinting Masai on the last lap to win in 31 minutes, 51.39 seconds.
Fellow Ethiopian Haileyesus Melkamu was second in 31:55.50 and Masai third in 31:59.36.
Dibaba said it was especially rewarding to win in Kenya, Ethiopia’s traditional rival in track.
“I am very happy to win such a competitive race, having been injured for most of last year,” said Dibaba, the Olympic champion at 5,000 and 10,000 meters.
This year, Dibaba won the 5,000 in the New York Grand Prix and at the Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Ore.
Algeria’s Hadj Lazib won the men’s 100 hurdles in 13.77, and Tunisia’s Hamdi Dhoubi won the pole vault by clearing 15 feet, 5 inches.
Thousand of fans were turned away from the Nyayo National Stadium, which was filled to capacity, said David Okeyo, the chief executive of the event’s local organizing committee.
“We did not want the wall to collapse or a stampede,” he said. “This stadium was meant for 35,000 people and we already had more than that.”
Security at the championships has been tight because of the twin bomb attacks in Uganda’s capital Kampala that killed 76 people who were watching the World Cup final on July 11.
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