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Meseret Defar of Ethiopia smashed her own 5,000m world record in Oslo

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OSLO, (Xinhua) — Meseret Defar of Ethiopia smashed her own 5,000m world record by nearly eight seconds and Jamaica’s Asafa Powell cruised to a victory in the men’s 100 at a Golden League meeting here on Friday.

Defar clocked 14 minutes 16.63 seconds to better her previous world mark of 14:24.53 set in New York on June 3, 2006.

Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot finished second in 14:22.51 ahead of compatriot Priscah Jepleting in third in 14:44.51.

“Everything was perfect today,” Defar said. “I knew I could break the record after two kilometers. But I didn’t think I’d break the record by such a big margin.”

The 23-year-old also won the Olympic title at 5,000 and held world bests in the 3 km and 5 km road races last year.

World record holder Powell sped to victory in 9.94 seconds in the first Golden League meeting of the season.

He burst out of the blocks and led all the way to beat Francis Obikwelu of Portugal, who clocked 10.06 seconds.

Briton Marlon Devonish placed third overall in 10.20.

“9.94 is a good time for today,” Powell said.

“This was my second race of a long season. I am just coming back from a knee injury and I am faster than I was at this point last year,” the 24-year-old added.

Powell, who shares the world record with Justin Gatlin of the United States, started the season with a time of 9.97 seconds in Belgrade on May 29.

Victories at the meeting set Powell, Defar and eight others on the way to a 1 million U.S. dollars jackpot for an athlete who wins all six of their Golden League events.

Powell shared last year’s jackpot with American 400m runners Jeremy Wariner and Sanya Richards.

The next Golden League competition is on July 6 in Paris.

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