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Paul Tanui put up strong fight but still rues slow pace in opening 5000 metres that undermined their strategy

ATHLETICS By Bismarck Mutahi in Rio Di Janeiro | August 15th 2016
Kenya's Paul Kipngetich Tanui celebrates with the silver medal after the men's 10,000-meter final during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Olympic 10,000m silver medallist Paul Tanui says their winning strategy at Olympic Stadium did not work.

However, he is grateful for the silver medal behind Britain’s triple Olympic champion Mo Farah.

World Half Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor and Bedan Karoki, the other Kenyans in the 10,000m race, concurred with the Japan-based Tanui.

“We wanted to have a faster race, which would have worked well for the three of us. But we ended up with a slow pace in the first five kilometres.

“Having a slower race from the start meant that we needed to run even faster in the final five laps and which I tried. In the end, I did not have the energy to push all the way,” Tanui told Feverpitch after the race.

Tanui, fondly referred to as ‘Pastor’ in Team Kenya for offering prayer in virtually all outings, said he had planned to create a gap between him and the second-placed runner (Mo Farah).

Although he could not afford to summon enough energy to propel him to victory, Tanui said he was happy he did not lose the silver.

Tanui, who trains under Kyudenko Corporation in Japan, was quick to accept Farah’s supremacy.

“Farah is still in good shape and I have no complaints that I lost to him, but I am sure in future he can be beaten,” said Tanui, who shot to the limelight during the 2010 national cross country trials at Uhuru Gardens.

Kamworor, who was expected to challenge the Briton said he developed breathing problems with five laps to go and could not keep up with the pace set by Tanui, Farah and Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola, who won bronze.

“I have not been myself since I arrived in Brazil. Training not gone as well as I would have liked, but the chest problem that I developed in the course of the race spoiled all our plans,” Kamworor said.

Kamworor, who beat Farah at the World Half marathon in Cardiff in March, said he was not seeking excuses after the race and was also equally disappointed for failing to give his best.

Karoki, who like Kamworor earned Athletics Kenya wild cards to the Olympic team after failing to finish the race during the trials in Eldoret, said he too tried his best but was not good enough.

“I just found the going tough with six laps to go and I think since picking an injury before the trials I have not been myself. We must agree that we were up against a very tough field,” Karoki said.

Karoki and Kamworor dropped out of the Olympics trials at Kipchoge Keino Stadium, where Tanui won.

Kenya’s focus now shifts to the 5,000m race where world silver medallist Caleb Mwangangi and 2013 world bronze medallist Isaiah Kiplang’at attempt to stop Farah.

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