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Ethiopian runner Almaz Ayana delivered a stunning start to track and field at the Olympics with a world record in the 10,000m on Friday (12 August), wiping away the competition just after the halfway point and striding to victory with effortless grace.
After crossing the finish line, she raised her hands in triumph and came to a stop, fully realizing what she had done: Her time of 29 minutes, 17.45, had shaved 14.33 seconds off the 1993 mark of China's Wang Junxia.
At age 24, she beat the best from a previous generation. Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot, 32, a four-time long distance world champion came in second, a massive 15.18 seconds behind. Ayana's 31-year-old team-mate Tirunesh Dibaba took bronze.
Nearly 40% of parents of girls report their daughters being inspired to take up a sport after watching professionals in action.
England 6-Russia )