Pavey back on track with good showing at Great North Run
18:17 GMT, 16 September 2012
Almost 40,000 people took part in the biggest Great North Run in history on Sunday, in what could be regarded as the first step towards a successful London 2012 legacy.
Lord Coe hopes the Olympics will inspire two million people to take up sport. And what more inspiration could they want than five British gold medal winners to fire the starting pistol
Double Olympic athletics champion Mo Farah, long jumper Greg Rutherford, boxer Nicola Adams, rower Kat Copeland and double Paralympic gold-medal swimmer Ellie Simmonds started proceedings.
Impressive: Jo Pavey (right) enjoyed a good run
Farah, who was one of the stars of the track this summer with wins in the 5,000m and 10,000m, planned to compete in the race for the first time this year. But with the arrival of twin daughters he decided to pull out.
The 29-year-old said: ‘The last few weeks have taken their toll and it would be disrespectful to take on the distance without the necessary hard training.’
But British long distance runner Jo Pavey, who finished seventh in both the women’s 5,000m and 10,000m in the summer, did compete and found more success in the half marathon from Newcastle to South Shields.
Taking it on the line: Wilson Kipsang wins the Men's 2012 Bupa Great North Run in Newcastle
Afterwards the 38-year-old, who
finished fifth, said: ‘Having the Great North Run to get back on the
roads, it’s been a big target to keep training and keep the motivation
there. Today there was a really tough field. There were two Olympic
champions and a world champion so it was always going to be hard.’
In total 39,953 crossed the finish line — the Olympic legacy has a long way to go, but this was a great start.
Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang, who won bronze in the Olympic marathon, won the men’s race.
Kipsang snatched victory from fellow Kenyan Micah Kogo thanks to a dramatic sprint finish that went right to the line.
He pipped Kogo to the victory in the last 20 metres in a time of 59 minutes and six seconds.
Pushed all the way: Kipsang celebrates winning Great North Run ahead of fellow Kenyan Micah Kogo
Ethiopia's Imana Merga finished third and Chris Thompson was the highest-placed Briton in sixth with a time of 61 minutes.
In the women's race, Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba powered to victory on her half marathon debut.
The three-time Olympic champion and
four-time world champion, who became the first athlete to retain the
Olympic 10,000 metres title this summer, saw off the challenge of 2011
world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat and 2012 Olympic Games marathon
champion Tiki Gelana to claim the victory.
Dibaba finished with a time of 67 minutes 35 seconds, just outside of the symbolic 67-minute mark.