Tirop lives to fight another day: Women 10,000m. Agnes settles for bronze as superior Ethiopians come top

Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana celebrates after winning the final of the women's 10,000m athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 5, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRK

Kenyans struggle as Ayana destroys the field to win gold in final.

Kenya's Agnes Tirop admits she could not cope with Ethiopian Almaz Ayana's killer pace in the women's 10,000m final on Saturday night as she dedicated her bronze medal to her family back home.

The 2015 World Cross Country champion clocked a new personal best of 31:03.50 to settle for bronze behind Ayana's world lead of 30:16.32 and Tirunesh Dibaba (31:02.69), another Ethiopian.

In the race for the other medals, Irene Cheptai was the first of the contingent to crack, followed by Aprot, and while Dibaba might lack the pace which has taken her to so many titles over the years, she moved past Tirop at the bell and held her off on the last lap, 31:02.69 to Tirop's 31:03.50.

Aprot, 23, finished outside the medal bracket at fourth place, same position as her Rio Olympic show, but with a personal best time of 3:03.50, while her compatriot, Cheptai, faded to seventh position with a season best of 31:21.11.

"I have to thank my parents and friends; they are the reason I'm here at my first World Championships. This is my first time to compete as a senior at the World Championships," said Tirop.

"It's a big event and I'm very pleased with the personal best time and bronze medal."

Despite the paucity of data-points in the build-up to this race, Ayana still began as the consensus pick for this title but the world record-holder had not raced at distance as a build-up to this London global event championships due to illness and injury.

While the Olympic final last year went out at close to world record pace from the get-go, the first three kilometres were covered in a cumbersome nick but with the clock showing a fraction inside 10 minutes after the first three kilometres, Ayana cut loose and put on a display second only to her world record performance at the Olympics last year.

Only Turkey's Yasemin Can tried to follow Ayana's break.

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