Ethiopia was expected to capture gold and silver in the women's 3000m, which they did, but the predicted finishing order was reversed when Meseret Defar out-sprinted defending champion Berhane Adere to win in 9:11.22.
The race may have been the slowest ever in a world championships final, but the final two laps were a spectacle to behold.
Defending silver medallist Marta Dominguez led the entire race, until the Ethipian pair, along with Briton Jo Pavey, made the first major move. At the bell, Dominguez faded, with American champion Shayne Culpepper the only one willing to take on the challenge posed by the Ethiopians. Berhane, the world outdoor 10,000m champion, led heading into the final curve, but Defar, pint-sized next to the taller Adere, wouldn't submit, running stride-for-stride around the bend. She pulled ahead in the final 20 meters o win by less than two one-hundredths of a second ahead of Adere's 9;12.15. Culpepper held off Dominguez's final challenge to caputre the bronze in 9:12.15 to the Spaniard's 9:12.85.