Shelby Houlihan finishes 11th in the Women's 5000m race at the R - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Shelby Houlihan finishes 11th in the Women's 5000m race at the Rio Olympics

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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -

Sioux City-native Shelby Houlihan finished 11th in the gold medal final of the Women's 5000m race in Rio on Friday night.

Houlihan finished with a time of 15:08.89. 

But Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot won the 5000m distance race in Olympic-record time of 14:40.79. She is the first female from her nation to win an Olympic gold medal in the event.

Cheruiyot was followed shortly by countrywoman Hellen Obiri to complete a Kenyan lockout of the top two positions.

For the first 4000m of the race, it appeared as if Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana would complete a sweep of the distance races at these Olympics, having won the 10000m in world-record time a week ago.

With roughly 1000m to go, Ayana held a comfortable lead of 25-meters over Cheruiyot and Obiri. Her pace began to rapidly decline, though, and the Kenyans accelerated to overtake Ayana with two laps to go.

Ayana managed to hold off the rest of the pack to take bronze.

Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand and Abbey D’Agostino of Team USA were both on the start list for this event. The two athletes will be linked forever in the event’s history thanks to an inspiring display of sportsmanship in a semifinal race earlier in the week.

Houlihan had the entire community rooting for her at watch parties around the city. 

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