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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Olympian Masterkova Romps To Record, Riches in Brussels

BRUSSELS -- After breaking the world mark for the women's mile in Zurich last Wednesday, Olympic 800- and 1,500-meter champion Svetlana Masterkova clocked two minutes, 28.98 seconds to shave 0.36 seconds off the previous 1,000-meters best.


The Russian powered through a fast last lap to improve on the 2:29.34 set by Mozambique's former world champion Maria Mutola in the same stadium in August last year. Mutola pushed the Russian all the way and took second place in 2:29.66.


Masterkova earned a bonus of $25,000 for her amazing performance.


"That really finished me," she said. "If it wasn't for Maria, I couldn't have done it. She pushed me ... It was a fast track, a terrific atmosphere. The Mexican waves in the crowd gave me wings.


"In the last 400 meters I felt Mutola closing in and that drove me to the decisive extra effort."


Gebreselassie defeated Hissou to win the 10,000-meter run at the Atlanta Games but was not competing here. Hissou, the 24-year-old Moroccan brought the crowd to their feet when he gritted his teeth on the last lap and forced his way to the line with a new world record of 26:43.53., knocking more than five seconds off the old record.


Last year, Brussels organizers played African music to spur on the distance racers. The athletes liked it so much that they asked for it again. It clearly added an extra stride to Hissou.


Afterwards the Moroccan said he could go even faster.


"I was planning for 13:20 for the first five kilometers and I saw it was 13:25. This was too slow. Next time I will be on pace for the whole race," he said.


"I have achieved my main goal to have a world record. Now I can't think of anything but that it could be faster."