Natasha Wodak wins gold in women’s 10000 metres at 2019 Pan American Games

Natasha Wodak (Wikimedia Commons)

Natasha Wodak of Surrey, British Columbia has won the gold medal in the women’s 10000 metres at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. In winning the gold medal on Tuesday, Wodak set a Pan American Games record with a time of 31 minutes, 55.17 seconds.

Brenda Flores of Mexico had the previous Pan American Games record of 32 minutes, 41.33 seconds when she won the gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. The world record belongs to Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, who had a time of 31 minutes, 55.17 seconds in winning the gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Risper Biyaki Gesabwa of Mexico won the silver medal with a time of 31 minutes and 59 seconds. Rachel Cliff of Vancouver, British Columbia won the bronze medal for Canada with a time of 32 minutes, 13.34 seconds. Wodak reached the podium by 29.2 seconds. Elaina Tabb of the United States finished in fourth place with a time of 32 minutes, 24.37 seconds.

Cliff was in the lead during the majority of the race. At each split time up until 8000 metres, it was Cliff who was in first. However, Wodak and Biyaki Gesabwa passed Cliff in the last 2000 metres. The gold medal for Wodak will give her confidence as she prepares for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

Canada has now won 97 medals (24 gold medals, 40 silver medals and 33 bronze medals) at the 2019 Pan American Games. That is the second most among all nations. Only the United States, at 157 medals, have more.

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