Ethiopian-born Abeylegesse Makes Turkish Olympic History

TODAY’S ZAMAN

Ethiopian-born Elvan Abeylegesse made double Turkish history on Friday by becoming the first-ever Turk to win an Olympic silver medal in athletics.

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This medal in the women’s 10,000-meter final also made her the first ever Turkish woman to win an Olympic medal in this discipline.

Elvan, who had led for much of the latter part of the race, ran home in second with a time of 29:56.34 minutes. American Shalane Flanagan took bronze in 30:22.22. Ethiopia’s world champion Tirunesh Dibaba won the gold in 29:54.66 — an Olympic record.

During a fast race Elvan and Dibaba were neck and neck going into the final six laps. But at the sound of the bell, Dibaba kicked out and held on to win.

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Elvan Abeylegesse of Turkey and Tirunesh Dibaba Kenene.
(Photo credit: Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)

Dibaba and Elvan now become only the second and third women to run under 30 minutes in the 10,000 after Chinese world record holder Wang Junxia, who set her mark in Beijing in 1993.

It is worthy to note that Eşref Apak, the bronze medalist in the men’s hammer throw in the 2004 Athens Games, was the first Turk to win an Olympic medal. Read More.


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