Instead, Defar was Ethiopia’s top star at the Olympic Stadium Friday.
“After eight years I won gold again,” she said. “It’s a great achievement. I feel like I’ve been born again.”
Once she crossed the line, Defar produced a religious image of a Virgin and child to show to the cameras before breaking down, sobbing into the picture.
Defar and Dibaba have now combined to dominate their fierce rivals from Kenya over the long distance in London.
“The main thing is that the gold has returned to Ethiopia,” said Dibaba.
And going into the final weekend, Ethiopia now has three gold and six medals overall, compared to two gold and eight overall for its African neighbor.
Ethiopia had already upstaged the favored Kenyans in the women’s marathon last Sunday. In the Olympic Stadium where Vivian Cheruiyot had been expected to double over the long distances, the surprises kept coming.
“This is my third Olympics and the last two I’ve never got any medal,” Cheruiyot said. “At least I’ve got something today. I’ve tried my best.”
Defar wasn’t greedy for a double and had the power to pace her race perfectly while Dibaba and Cheruiyot faltered.
“My focus was on one race only,” Defar said. “I know both of them are very tough and I’ve lost to them many times. But today I felt very good about getting gold.”
Dibaba said she had been ill back home in Addis Ababa during a crucial stage of the season and could not train for nine days.
“Getting third place I consider equivalent to getting gold,” she said.
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Source: The Washington post