Newcastle, UK -Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba won the women’s race at the Great North Run, powering home in a time of 67 minutes 35 seconds.
In her first competitive half marathon, the 27-year-old athlete produced a hugely impressive display to hold off a challenge from 2011 world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat of Kenya.
Olympic marathon winner Tiki Gelena finished third after a trademark sprint finish from Dibaba, who also retained her Olympic 10,000 metres title in London this summer.
‘It was a good race, the course was good for me on my first half marathon,’ said the winner, who indicated she could turn her attention to road racing after claiming five Olympics medals on the track.
She told BBC Sport: ‘Hopefully next time I can run a faster time and I am thinking of running a marathon next year.’
Early pace-setter Jo Pavey was the first British woman to cross the finish line in South Shields, finishing in fifth place with a time of 69 minutes 20 seconds.
‘The top group just got away from me but I’m pleased, it wasn’t a bad time,’ she said afterwards.
Wilson Kipsang produced a superb sprint finish to win the Great North Run from fellow Kenyan Micah Kogo.
Kipsang, who took bronze in the London Olympic marathon, produced a late surge to pass Kogo and win the half marathon in 59 minutes and six seconds.
Ethiopia’s Imana Merga was third with Britain’s Chris Thompson in sixth.
Sources: IAAF & Metro