Friday 11 June 2004 Bergen, Norway – Turkey’s Elvan Abeylegesse
tonight took apart the women’s 5000m World record, which had belonged to
the little known Chinese Jiang Bo since 1997 (14:28.09), improving the mark by
over three seconds to 14:24.68 at the Evergood Bergen Bislett Games.
After a solid two days of heavy rain in Bergen, the sun shone on
Norway’s second city, golden rays which were more than matched by the
sparkling competition at this the opening meeting of the TDK Golden League
2004. The venue for the action was the refurbished Fana stadium, which was full
to its spectator capacity of 15,000.
Determined run blows away record and class field
The women’s 5000m contained much of the cream of the world’s
distance running talent, including the Ethiopian trio of Tirunesh Dibaba (World
5000m champion), Meseret Defar (World Indoor 3000m champion) and Derartu Tulu
(Olympic 10,000m champion). However, it was their former compatriot Elvan
Abeylegesse, who represents Turkey, who was the star of tonight’s
Besides the initial pace of Oksana Belyakova of Russia (1000m in 2:49 -
three seconds ahead of Jiang Bo’s record pace), and a spell at the front
by Tirunesh’s sister Ejegayehu Dibaba (2000m 5:47.36 – behind
schedule), the record run was created by a gutsy lone effort by the Turk, who
was ahead of a pack of 7 opponents with six laps to go, and was never
Ten seconds ahead at 4000m!