When she took the lead at the bell, there was little doubt that Tirunesh Dibaba (AFR - Eth) would succeed compatriot Berhane Adere as the champion in the 3000m. The only question that remained was how fast her closing lap would be. With a 58 second lap, she crossed the line in 8:33.78, nearly 11 seconds ahead of Briton Yvonne Murray’s 8:44.32 competition record set in 1989.
Poland’s Lidia Chojecka was the lone runner to try to chase Dibaba, and was rewarded with a runner-up finish in 8:39.69, ahead of the quick-closing American Kara Goucher (8:41.42). Australian Eloise Welling, who led much of the race until Dibaba took over, held on for fourth (8:41.78) for Oceania.