She may have finished a long way behind the leading group, but Solomon Islands' Sharon Firisua has never the less emerged from the qualifying round for the Olympic 5000-metres with a new national and Pacific record.

She surpassed her previous personal best set at the Pacific Games last year by almost 18.5 seconds to finish in a time of 18 minutes, 1.62 seconds.

Sharon says she realised early on that she didn't have the speed to keep up with the pack, so she opted to soak in the Olympic atmosphere and run her own private race.