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One-shoed Diro wins the hearts of fans but loses out in steeplechase

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Ethiopia‘s Etenesh Diro will fail to medal in the women‘s Olympic 3,000-metre steeplechase race but won a price for courage when she competed her heat on Saturday with one shoe.

Diro, the fourth best athlete of the year in the discipline, got caught in a rough-and-tumble incident within a leader group on the backstraight with little over 1,000m left.

She fell with two other athletes, her right shoe coming partially off, and Diro threw it onto the grass next to the track when she failed to get it on again.

Diro 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. That means she will miss Monday‘s final.

The crowd gave her a warm farewell but Diro was in tears as her Olympic campaign was over on this bright morning.

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