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Olympics 2016: Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana wins gold medal in women’s 10,000m run

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Almaz Ayana destroyed the old world record in the 10,000m by over 14 seconds.

The first track and field gold medal of the 2016 Olympics goes to Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana in the women's 10,000-meter run. Ayana shattered the world record with a time of 29:17.45, beating silver medalist Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya by over 15 seconds.

Cheruiyot finished in 29:32.53 for second place, while Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba won the bronze medal with a time of 29:42.56. Dibaba won gold medals in this event at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, so this is the third straight time that Ethiopia has taken the top spot. Ayana destroyed the old world record of 29:31.78, which was set by China's Junxia Wang in 1993.

American runner Molly Huddle, competing in her second Olympics, finished in sixth with a time of 30:13.17.

Ayana, 24, has typically run at distances of 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters during her career. In the 5,000-meter run, she has the second-best time in history. Now the Ethiopian also has the best 10,000-meter time ever after breaking the record Friday in Rio.

These are the first two medals in Rio for Ethiopia, which entered the Games with a total of 45 Olympic medals since its athletes started competing in 1956. All of the medals have come in track and field, where Ethiopia's elite long-distance runners have historically performed well. Dibaba has long been one of the world's best, and now Ayana is following her up. From the looks of it, Ethiopia's success in this event should continue for the foreseeable future.

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