17 JUL 2004 General News

Women's 3000m Final

Jebichi Yator of Kenya took the 3000m gold medal in 8:59.80 after 2003 World Youth champion Siham Hilali of Morocco had led for most of the race.

Safa Aissaoui of Tunisia set a new national junior record of 9:02.47 to out-sprint a fading Hilali in the final 50 metres of the race while the Moroccan took bronze in a new personal best of 9:03.16.

Following a relatively slow first lap, Hilali took the lead 500 metres into the race taking a four-athlete group through 800m in 2:31.77. With Aissaoui and Yator, only the second Kenyan Gladys Jepkemo Chemweno was able to follow the pace.

Behind the four teenagers, Adrienne Herzog of the Netherlands and Tomomi Yuda of Japan were running shoulder to shoulder a good ten metres behind.

After the first kilometre was covered in 3:07.37 and the second in 6:05.54, Hilali toughened the pace and accelerated with 550 metres to go. At the bell Hilali was leading by a mere one metre with Aissaoui trying to take the inside and Yator a couple of metres behind the pair of North Africans.

By then Chemweno had faded.

As the athletes were entering the final bend, Hilali was still in the lead but it seemed as if the Moroccan had given it all with Aissaoui looking the fresher of the two.

Coming into the home straight, Aissaoui sped past Hilali only to see an extremely fast finishing Yator taking the outside and leaving them 10 metres behind.

Yuda eventually took fourth position in a personal best of 9:13.92 with Chemweno in fifth in 9:13.92, also a pb.