Report02 Sep 2011

Women's 5000m - Final - Cheruiyot completes double in Daegu


Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot of Kenya won the gold medal in the women's 5000 metres final (© getty Images)

Vivian Cheruiyot became only the second woman to achieve the double at 5000 and 10,000m when using her phenomenal speed over the final circuit she took the shorter distance title in 14:55.36.

The tiny Kenyan who has been unbeaten at any distance on the track this year unleashed a fantastic final 400 58.68 seconds not only to defend her title but match the achievement Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba achieved six years ago in Helsinki.

The last lap burn up saw her run the sting out of her rivals and there was a double Kenyan celebration when Sylvia Kibet again took the silver medal when passing Meseret Defar 80 metres from the line.

Her determination to beat arch-Ethiopian rival Meseret Defar just as she did in Berlin two years ago again shone through when finishing ahead by 0.73 seconds in 14:56.21.

The race started at a canter with Japan's Hitomi Niiya better known in the past as a cross country runner taking on the pace-maker’s role and opening a gap of 20 metres with Russia's 33-year-old Yelena Zadorozhnaya leading the single line pack in her wake.

Niiya led through the first kilometre (3:02.1) maintaining the same gap but approaching the next Zadorozhnaya remembered for collapsing after finishing sixth at the 2001 Championships in Edmonton, went through it in 6:07.1.

At this point World Junior champion Genzebe Dibaba the younger sister of two-time winner Tirunesh, was lying handily close to the front with her Ethiopian team-mates and strongly backed medal contenders Defar and Sentayehu Ejigu.

Two Kenyans Kibet and Mercy Cherono were mixing it alongside them, however Cheruiyot and Linet Masai - the latter third in the 10,000m - were sitting almost at the back of the pack and clearly conserving energy for what everyone always knew would be a furious finish.

The long legs of Masai however went to the front with 6 and a half laps remaining and with Cheriuyot's face also coming into the mix the rivalry between the neighbouring African nations was just about to start bubbling over.

Cheruiyot looking very fresh took charge of the race for the first time passing through 3000m in 9:10.97 and with a little help from Masai maintained the pace to go through 4000m in 12:13.6. Dibaba tried to alter the balance of the race with 600 metres remaining but Cheruiyot was having none of her interference.

Then came the bell with the electronic display beaming out a time of 13:56.68 almost as a signal for the medal hopefuls - all fast finishers - to start their long expected attacks.

Down the back straight it was down to three with Cheruiyot the World leader quickly powering away. Defar and Kibet were chasing her but some distance behind coming around the final bend.

Cheruiyot hitting the home straight already had the gold medal tied up and Kibet's blazing finish assured their nation of another spectacular 1-2 to match that achieved two years previously.

David Martin for the IAAF

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