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Defar ends Dibaba’s double aspirations

August 10, 2012

LONDON, Aug 10: Ethiopian Meseret Defar ended her compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba’s dream of a track double when she won the women’s 5,000m on Friday in thrilling fashion, but two doping cases overshadowed another action-packed day at the Games.

Defending champion Dibaba, who was the favourite to win following her victory in the 10,000m race, ended with bronze as Defar overtook her in the home straight to finish in 15min 04.25sec, with world champion Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya claiming silver in 15:04.73.

Defar took a picture out of her top after crossing the line and kissed it before breaking down in tears.

In doping news, France’s 5,000m runner Hassan Hirt was reported to have tested positive for the banned blood booster EPO while Kenyan athletics officials also confirmed on Friday that distance runner Mathew Kisorio tested positive for a banned substance in June, but rejected his claim that doping was widespread in the country.

At the Excel Arena, Russia’s Dzhamal Otarsultanov won the men’s 55kg freestyle wrestling gold after defeating Georgia’s Vladimer Khinchegashvili in the final before Jordan Burroughs of the United States overcame Iran’s Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi to win gold in the 74kg category.

In a bronze medal match, Britain won their first women’s field hockey medal in 20 years with a 3-1 victory over New Zealand.

In men’s water polo, Sandro Sukno scored two goals to power Croatia past Montenegro 7-5 and into the final.

In men’s basketball, Pau Gasol scored 16 points as Spain rallied for a 67-59 win over Russia to reach a second straight final.

Sweden, who won silver in men’s handball three times in a row between 1992 and 2000, got a fourth chance to finally win a gold after defeating Hungary 27-26 in the semi-final.

Meanwhile, Russia will play for the gold medal in men’s volleyball after defeating Bulgaria 3-1.

Under sunny skies and another glorious weather day in the English capital, officials from organising committee LOCOG also had bright news. The 210,000 who attended events at Olympic Park in east London on Thursday brought the total games attendance to 7.3 million overall, including 2.3 million at Olympic Park.

Attention turned to Sunday’s closing ceremony, when the Olympic Flame will be extinguished in the curtain call for the Games that have galvanised many Britons.

Before the baton is passed to Rio de Janeiro, which hosts the first South American Olympics in 2016, the world will witness a ceremony celebrating British music, with The Spice Girls, The Who and Brian May among those set to perform.—Agencies