Jo Pavey happy with fifth place finish in Great North run

Ethiopia's Olympic 10,000m champion Tirunesh Dibaba won the women's race.
The elite men's race was won by Kenya's Wilson Kipsang in a dramatic sprint finish

Jo Pavey was satisfied with her fifth place finish in today's Great North run and believes it has been the perfect transition back into road racing.

The British long distance runner, who finished in seventh place in both the 5,000 and 10,000 metres at this summer's Olympic Games, crossed the line in a time of 69 minutes 20 seconds, just 27 seconds outside of her half-marathon personal best.

Ethiopia's Olympic 10,000m champion Tirunesh Dibaba won the women's race on her half marathon debut ahead of world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat and 2012 Olympic marathon champion Tiki Gelana.

"I was fairly pleased," Pavey told BBC1 after the race.

"I wished I could have stayed up those top few but at one point they got away. I kept going and I would have liked to have been up with them but it wasn't a bad time.

"I really enjoyed this year being back on the track. Having the opportunity in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres in the Olympic stadium was awesome.

"Having this Great North Run to get back on the roads, it's been a really 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 but it wasn't too bad a time.

"I look forward now to trying to do a marathon in the autumn in Yokohama and this has really excited me to get back on the roads again.

"I enjoyed it out there. Although it's tough it's such an amazing event."

Dibaba, who won with a time of 67 minutes 35 seconds, hailed rival Kiplagat who she beat in a sprint to the line.

"Edna is a very good runner," Dibaba said.

"She has experience on the roads and I knew I was going to get a good challenge there. It is my first experience of running a road race but still it was a good competition.

"It was a good race. The course was good for me. It's my first time running in the Great North Run and I enjoyed it. At the last moment there was rain but it was a very good race.

"Hopefully next time I will get a better time. For me it was a good run and the experience for me today was good. I am thinking of running a marathon maybe next year."

The elite men's race was won by Kenya's Wilson Kipsang in a dramatic sprint finish.

Kipsang, who won the London marathon earlier this year and claimed bronze over the same distance at the Olympic Games, pipped countryman Micah Kogo to the line in a time of 59 minutes and six seconds.

Britain's Chris Thompson finished in sixth.

Kipsang said: "The finish was quite fantastic. I decided to sprint.

"Towards the last part I believed in myself and I got the feeling that I could sprint.

"For me winning this race is really good for me. It was my first time running in the GNR and I really enjoyed the race. There were a lot of people cheering and it was fantastic."

Canadian Josh Cassidy won his third Great North Run in the men's wheelchair event by some distance.

Cassidy finished in a time of 43 minutes 18 seconds, a clear six minutes ahead of Britain's Phil Hogg in second place, with Ross Low claiming third.

PA

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