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Olympics: Xing surprises at 10,000 metres while Radcliffe drops out again


Four years before the Olympics will be held in Beijing Huina Xing sensationally won the Olympic 10,000 m gold in Athens. In a strong finish the Chinese left behind her all three Ethiopians. Before the finish the drama about Paula Radcliffe had continued. Just five days after she had dropped out of the marathon at 36 k she started in the 10,000 m final. But again the best ever British long distance female runner was not able to finish the race. The world record holder at the marathon and European 10,000 m record holder now has to overcome her worst defeat ever. Probably no other athlete was hit so hard with disappointment than Radcliffe. Xing won in a time of 30:24,36 minutes in front of three Ethiopians: Ejegayehu Dibaba (30:24,98), Derartu Tulu (30:26,42) and Werknesh Kidane (30:28,30). Former Kenyan Lornah Kiplagat (Netherlands) was fifth in a time of 30:31,92. The Ethiopians had dropped World Champion Berhane Adere from the team due to lack of form.

When 5,000 metres were passed in 15:34,56 minutes Paula Radcliffe was still in the leading group of ten runners. But it was obvious that she was running into problems one again. Between 6 and 7 k she finally dropped out. Just five days after the very tough marathon the 10,000 metres came much to early. Four years ago Tegla Loroupe also ran both races. After suffering of stomach problems during the Olympic marathon in Sydney she finished the race in 13th position. She had been the favourite to win gold. Loroupe then run the 10,000 metres six days later and finished 5th. Sydney was a huge disappointment for Tegla Loroupe – but it was not such a disaster as for Paula Radcliffe. It seems unlikely now that the English runner will be able to win an Olympic medal in her career. “Dropping out of the marathon was psychologically very tough for me. Then I just had to get over it and for me the best way was to get out and run. Today it was not exhaustion but my leg that forced me out of this race. It was just too sore. I gave it a shot but it just wasn’t there”, Paula Radcliffe said.

While Paula Radcliffe had to cope with another Olympic break down there was a surprise for the Ethiopians as well. Dibaba, Tulu and Kidane were setting the pace. But they could not get rid of one runner: Huina Xing, the world junior record holder at the distance. She stood every sort of pace and in the end had the stronger finish against Ejegayehu Dibaba. “Winning here was beyond my expectation”, Xing said.

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