World champion Yuliya Zaripova of Russia took Olympic gold in the women's 3000 meters steeplechase on Monday. Zaripova shook off the challenge of Tunisia's Habiba Ghribi on the final water jump to power to gold in nine minutes, 6.72 seconds, a personal best and the third-fastest time in history.
"I am very proud for my country," Zaripova said. "I want to get the best for them and for them to get more medals, especially gold. Step by step I was believing in this moment and now I have it."
Ghribi, the world silver medalist, posted a national record of 9:08.37 for silver, with Ethiopia's Sofia Assefa claiming the bronze in 9:09.84. "I did think at one point I could win a gold medal but I had an injury at the beginning of the year so I had to get over that and get back to my level," Ghribi said. "The Russian girl was very, very good. I'm very happy with the silver medal."
Assefa was happy to medal in such a high-paced race.
"The race was very fast. I didn't expect it to be as fast as this. But I managed to control everything."
Gulnara Galkina, the defending champion and world record holder, dropped out with two laps remaining.
First published in RIA Novosti.
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