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1ST LEAD Happy end for one-shoed Diro in steeplechase By John Bagratuni, dpa

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Ethiopia‘s Etenesh Diro won the hearts of Olympic athletics fans by completing her 3,000-metre steeplechase heat with one shoe after a fall - and also those of competition judges who advanced her into the final an hour later on Saturday.

Diro fell along with Ireland‘s Sara Louise Treacy and Jamaican Aisha Praught in a leader group on the back straight.

Diro‘s right shoe coming partially off, and Diro threw it onto the grass next to the track when she failed to get it on again. She resumed the race, stopped again to remove her sock as well, and then started chasing the leaders - with the crowd roaring her on.

Diro had trouble jumping the obstacles, jumping off with her bare right foot to land on her left shoe. This awkward style, coupled with the lost time through the fall, gave her no chance to recover as she crossed the line in seventh place in 9 minutes 34.70 seconds - half a minute off her personal best.

Diro, who was fifth at the last Olympics and world championships and fourth in the 2016 world list, cried bitter tears but was then advanced into Monday‘s final along with Treacy and Praught after their three federations successfully appealed to the jury.

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(04.03.2021 11:26)

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