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Ugandan Biruth Shimotai won her first international title by suspending Olympic gold in the 3000m hurdles, this Wednesday in Tokyo.
She is Uganda’s third Olympic gold, with all sports taken into account, and the first for a woman from an African country. The country’s other two Olympic titles in athletics also came, to John Aki Bua in the 400m hurdles in Munich 1972 and Stephen Kiebroch at the 2012 London Marathon.
Silver in this Wednesday’s race went to American Courteney Friedrich (9:04.79) and bronze to Kenyan Heaven King (9:05.39), who five years ago was at the Rio 2016 Olympic runner-up.
Shimotai, 22, who especially admires Ethiopian long-distance runner Almaz Ayana, finished the event with a time of 9 minutes, one second and 45 hundredths, a new record for her country.
In the Doha 2019 World Cup, the Ugandan had finished fifth. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, when he was only 17 years old, he was unable to qualify for the Test final.
Uganda already played a leading role in athletics Tokyo 2020 in the 10,000m test, on Friday, with Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplemo taking silver and bronze, respectively.
Kenyan world champion Beatrice Chepkosh, who has held the world record (8:44.32) since 2018, finished seventh with a time of 9:16.33.
Along with Chepkoech, American Emma Coburn, world runner-up in 2019 and Olympic bronze in 2016, was presented as the favorite, who was knocked off the hook and even disqualified.
For her part, the Spanish Carolina Robles came very late (9: 50.96), in the 14th and last place among the contenders who finished the final with a mark.
© 2021 AFP
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