|Alma Ayana was a blur|
This morning, Alma Ayana, 24, of Ethiopia won the Olympic Gold medal in the Women's 10,000 Meters with a time of 29:17:45, smashing the world record by almost 14 seconds. Ayana won the race by more than 100 meters but the other leading runners also put in hyper-fast times. Overall, it was the fastest race of its kind ever run.
- The previous record of 29:31:78, set by Wang Junxia of China, had stood for almost 23 years.
- It was the first world record set at the Olympics at this event since at least the 1960's.
- The Silver and Bronze medalists Vivian Cheruiyot, 32, of Kenya, and Tirunesh Dibaba, 31, of Ethiopia, ran the 3rd and 4th fastest times in history. Cheruiyot herself almost broke the world record.
- Molly Huddle, 31, of the United States came in 6th. She still smashed the American record. Her time of 30:13.17 would have been sufficient to win the Gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics.
- By the last mile, the top runners were all running on their own, but the positioning was confusing as so many of the other runners were being lapped. Ayana might have lost a few seconds just trying to get around her slower peers.
Some races are exciting because they are close. This one was exciting because the soon spread out leaders were all gunning it, each pursuing her own personal goal - a world record, a medal, an american record or simply a PR. This is not something you see in more bunched up "tactical" races.
To me, they looked like they were being swept along the track by angels - fast angels.