Friday, August 22, 2008

Goucher 9th in Olympic 5000m Final

Kara Goucher finished 9th in today's 5000 meter final at the Beijing Olympic Games.

The Duluth native ran 15:49.39.

Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia, who won gold in a blazing 10,000 meters earlier in the Games, won the 5000m in a slow 15:41.40.

"I have a lot of work to do," Goucher told USA Track and Field afterward. "The pace was slow, but they're amazing athletes. I maintained my composure. I know this sounds crazy, but I think I could have won that on the right night. I still have so much improvement left."

Goucher's American rival Shalane Flanagan finished one place behind the Duluth East and Colorado University alum in 15:50.80.

The Duluth News-Tribune's "live-blog" coverage of the event is HERE.

The Star-Tribune has THIS Rachel Blount story (and Carlos Gonzalez photo) in which Goucher is already talking about 2012.

The Portland Oregonian reports, HERE, that Goucher was bothered by a sinus infection this week, but felt fine in competition today.

Complete 5000m results can be found HERE.


miller said...

I have no doubt that Kara will improve in the 5,000 (as well as in the longer distances). But reports I've seen indicate that Dibaba covered the last 1k in 2:36. It's hard to imagine a scenario where Goucher could have won that race. I'm not sure what "the right night" would be.

Charlie said...

I'd chalk that statement up to two things ... the slow early pace and having a microphone stuck in you face immedately after the race.

I think the slow pace can give the impression that you're in the race more than you really are. It's slow, the leaders are right there, it's confidence-building, so it seems as though stride-by-stride you're getting closer to the medals, but, really, stride-by-stride you're only making it more likely that someone with wheels like Dibaba will ultimately win.

(She's got a sub-30 "engine" to go with the 2:36 final 1000 "wheels," so just how do you beat her, I wonder?)

I also have some sympathy for being forced to sum up a race, an Olympics, a career-to-date, etc. literally minutes after crossing the line. Goucher seemed to have come to a well-reasoned impression of her 10,000 when she wrote the Duluth News-Tribune a day or two afterward, so I wouldn't be surprised if she does so again with the 5000.

And, maybe there's something else too ... Goucher seems genuinely postive and confident about herself, so the statement may be indicative of that.

Better to come off the Olympic track thinking you could have won and excited about your chances in 2012 as opposed to feeling like there's no way to beat the best in the world.

george said...

Goucher was the top U.S. finisher in 15 minutes, 49.39 seconds. Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia won the gold medal in 15:41.40, nearly 8 seconds ahead of Goucher. The men's 5,000 final is scheduled for 7:10 a.m. Saturday (Milwaukee time) and will feature Madison's Matt Tegenkamp, who had the top qualifying time in the heats on Wednesday, and U.S. teammate and world champion Bernard Lagat.
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Chad said...

What happened to Rhines; 45 seconds behind Goucher and Flanagan off of such a slow pace?

miller said...

Sounds like Rhines hurt her foot in the prelims. From the USATF post-race press release:

Jen Rhines (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.):
"There was nothing I could do out there. I hurt my foot on Tuesday. I've been getting treatment and our medical staff has been taking great care of me. I couldn't run normally. From the first move, I saw it, but I couldn't go. It's been my goal since the last Olympics to come in and run in a final. I accomplished that. Everything was perfect except for hurting my foot."