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Event Report Women 5000m Final

The final of the women's 500 metres proved to be very different from the heats. With fast times and many seasonal and personal bests in the heats, the final started up very slowly. Gabriela SZABO (ROM) lead the group through 1000m in 3:04.25 and 2000m in 6:09.8 (3:05.63 km).
 
Much faster pace was not seen during the next two kilometres either. The women's 5000m final proved to be a tactical duel.
 
Isabella OCHICHI (KEN), took control of the race after 2000m. At around 2700m she tried to move to increase the pace, but little happened. The only one who cleary lost contact with the pack at this stage was 1995 world champion Sonia O'SULLIVAN (IRL).
 
Ochichi reached 3000m in 9:08.88, with a 2:59.00 km. Some runners dropped off the leading pack during the next kilometre of 2:57.57, clocking 12:06.45 at 4000m, the race still lead by Ochichi.
 
Even at this slow pace no-one tried to make a move before the last lap. Even the Chinese SUN Yingjie, third in the 10000m, who commanded the pace in both the 10000m and 5000m heat, looked tired during the race and did not lead at any stage.
 
Yelena ZADOROZHNAYA (RUS) moved to the lead with 700m to go. Zadoroznaya's pace was too much for Gabreila SZABO (ROM). This was not a total surprise considering her problems earlier this season. She dropped off during last two laps.
 
With 300m remaining, the sprint was on. Sun was no threat, with 10000m World Champion Berhane ADERE (ETH) in trouble, it was Marta DOMINGUEZ (ESP) who took the lead with 200m to go.
 
The front straight saw another Ethiopian's sprint finish as surprisingly 18-year-old Tirunesh DIBABA out sprinted Kenyan favourite Edith MASAI. Dominguez, who for a moment seemed to drop back, got back ahead of Masai just before the finish line to take the silver. Dibaba, who set a world junior record of 14:39.94 earlier this season, won in 14:51.72 with Dominguez running 14:52.26 for second place. Dibaba became the youngest ever individual champion at the World Championships at the age of 18 years and 90 days.
 
Masai, usually the strongest in the sprint for home had to accept third place in 14:52.30, only 0.06 seconds ahead of Zadoroznaya (14:52.36). Elvan ABEYGELESSE (TUR) set her personal best of 14:53.56 for fifth place and Ochichi, who lead the race for a long time, was sixth in 14:54.08. Gulnara SAMITOVA (RUS), who could well be a favourite for the next world championships in Helsinki 2005, also bettered her personal best to take seventh place in 14:54.38. Samitova is the world record holder for the 3000m steeplechase and this event will be introduced in the next edition of the championships.
 
Courtney BABCOCK (CAN) set a national record at eighth (14:54.98) to finish before two 10000m medallists from these championships, Sun (9th 14:57.01) and Adere (10th 14:58.07). These two seemed to pay the price for their third distance race here and could not show their best in the final sprint. Behind Sun and Adere finished Szabo in 14:59.36. Olympic champion in Sydney and world champion from Seville in 1999 was also disappointed with her 8th place in Edmonton two years ago.