By Oscar Pilipili and IAAF
Double world champion Vivian Cheruiyot stretched her unbeaten record over 5,000m to 11 outkicking Mercy Cherono over the last 600m to win in 14:48.86 during Aviva London Grand Prix-Samsung Diamond League.
Splits of 2:57.77, 6:00.06, 9:03.54 and 12:01.17 left three Kenyans and two Ethiopians clear of Britain’s Juliet Bleasdale as the steady pace hotted up in the closing stages.
Cheruiyot and Cherono took the lead from Linet Masai and pulled away to stage a private battle over the last lap.
Cheruiyot was always in control and eased ahead in the straight without needing to call on her full sprinting power.
Cherono and Masai recorded season’s bests in second and third, 14:49.26 and 14:53.93 respectively, while Bleasdale was dragged to huge best of 15:10.06.
Cheruiyot used the race to shape up for 2012 London Olympic Games where she doubles in both 5000m and 10,000m events.
As in 2011, Mo Farah brought the Crystal Palace crowd to its feet with a stunning finish in the 5000m that sets him up for the big championships to come.
Twelve months ago he set British jaws dropping at the end of a slow 3000m. This time he produced a 1:53.5 800m at the end of the 5000m to take 30 metres out of the dogged Australian Collis Birmingham.
After making his way slowly up the field as the race unfolded through splits of 2:35.49, 5:16.07, 7:58.38 and 10:39.11, Farah moved into the lead two laps out ahead of a group of five, taking Birmingham and Moses Kipsiro with him.
Birmingham hung on to Farah’s heels at the bell but the Briton kicked again 300m out and raced home in 13:06.04 acknowledging the raucous support of the crowd with his ‘Mobot’ salute on the finish line.
Birmingham was rewarded for his bravery with a personal best of 13:09.57 while Kipsiro was third in 13:09.98.