|Meseret Defar leads Vivian Cheruiyot and Tirunesh Dibaba in 5,000m race. [PHOTO: AP]|
By Omulo Okoth in London and Hassan Jumaa
The double world champion inflicted a blow against Olympics 10,000m gold medalist and the 5000m Olympic defending champion Tirunesh Dibaba as she beat her to the line in the 5,000m final.
However the diminutive Cheruiyot looked to have engaged the top gear a bit late as the 2004 Athens Olympics gold medallist and bronze medalist four years ago in Beijing Ethiopia’s Meseret Defar beat her to the Gold medal in a time of 15:04:25.
The race was dubbed as a Dibaba versus Cheruiyot from the onset with either Ethiopian or Kenyan athletes touted to reign. They stuck together for the better part of the race but when they decided to break away in the final laps, Meseret Defar, Tirunesh Dibaba together with the Kenyan trio of Sally kipyego, Vivian cheruiyot the 5,000M Commonwealth record holder and Viola Jelagat Kibiwott had obliterated the rest of the crowd.
Tirunesh dibaba looked to cruise to victory but her double gold medal celebration was cut short as she looked tired in about 50 metres.
Vivian Cheruiyot added a silver to her 10,000 bronze in a time of 15:04:73 with Dibaba taking bronze in a time of 15:05:15.
Sally Kipyego the silver medalist in 10,000 metres finished fourth in a time of 15:05:79. Viola Jelagat Kibiwott posted a time of 15:11:59 to finish sixth.
The Kenyans appeared to think that Dibaba was going for a double gold as she did in Beijing four years ago and were apparently following in her footsteps as she took the lead with five laps to finish while Defar remained behind.
“I knew Dibaba is very strong in the last 100 metres and I was going to run with her to the last moment and that if she won, she would win by a second,” Cheruiyot, in her third Olympic Games, said.
“I am disappointed a little bit because I thought I would win something better today. This is my third Olympics and I have achieved everything except an Olympic gold. Really I don’t know about 2016 Olympics,” she said.
Kipyego admitted that it was a very competitive and tactical race and that it was going to go to the last 200 metres.