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Disappointment! Ndiku, Muneira, Koech all fail to book a slot in the 5,000m final as ladies do well in 800m

ATHLETICS By Bismarck Mutahi in Rio de Janeiro | August 18th 2016
Kenya's Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku celebrates after winning the men's 5000m final at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, July 27, 2014. REUTERS

There will be no second battle between Kenyans and Britain's triple Olympic champion Mo Farah after men's 5,000m charges failed to sail into the finals set for Saturday.

World silver medallist Caleb Ndiku was expected to renew rivalry with Farah after losing to the Briton at the World Championships last year. But the battle saw Ndiku, the Commonwealth Games champion, finish sixth in a heat that Ethiopia's Hagos Gebrehiwet, the 2013 world silver medallist, won in 13:24.65. Ndiku timed 13:26.63.

Farah sealed his spot in top five automatic slots as he wound up third.

Ndiku, fondly known as the Buffalo, said he has had a nagging injury which affected his preparations for the Rio Olympics and could not train well.

Charles Muneria, the Africa cross country bronze medallist, was even more disappointing  as he could only manage a 12th place in 13:30.95.

In heat two, 2013 world bronze medallist Isaiah Koech Kiplang'at failed to sail into the final after finishing 12th in the race won by Kenya's 'export' Paul Chelimo of Bahrain.

Chelimo clocked the fastest time of all the heats in 13:19.54 while Koech's time was 13:25.15.

The women's 800m squad, however, did not have such problems as 2014 world junior champion Margaret Nyairera led former world champion Eunice Sum and Winnie Chebet into today's semi-finals.

Nyairera finished second in heat three behind Selina Buchel of Switzerland, who clocked 1:59.00. Nyairera clocked 1:59.66.

Sum, who was running in heat five, won in 1:59.83 ahead of Natalia Lupu of the Ukraine.

Sum, the 2015 bronze medalist, controlled the race from start to finish and ensured there were no problems in securing a slot in the semis.

Olympic gold medal favourite South Africa's Caster Semenya won heat two in 1:59.31 ahead of Ajee Wilson (1:59.44).

Chebet ran in heat seven and also made sure of the top two automatics places finishing in second place behind Joanna Jozwik. It was a much slower race compared to the earlier heats and Chebet's time was 2:01.65 while Jozwik's winning time was 2:01.58.

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