13 August 2017

Kenya: Brilliant Obiri Stops Ayana to Win 5000m Gold

Photo: IAAF
Elijah Manangoi and Asbel Kiprop in the men’s 1500m.

Nairobi — Hellen Obiri produced a jaw-dropping performance to floor Ethiopia star Almaz Ayana and storm to the women's 5000m gold on the last day of the London IAAF World Championships on Sunday.

Obiri proved to her words that she was in the best form of her life when she matched Ayana's steps up to the bell and unleash the afterburners at the back straight to leave defending champion Ayana trailing and went on to claim her first ever world outdoor title in 14:34.86.

Ayana settled for silver in a season's best of 14:40.35 to bag double in the championships after storming to gold in the women's 10,000m on the opening day.

Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands grabbed bronze in 14:42.73 to make amends after missing out a medal in her favourite 1500m final that was dominated by Kenyan Faith Kipyegon.

The win for Obiri saw Kenya reclaim the gold for the first time since 2011 when Vivian Cheruiyot won it in Daegu, South Korea.

Ayana, the 10,000m world record holder, had decided to inject some much-needed zip into the pace with nine laps to run and only Obiri was able to match her.

The field was suddenly splintered with Hassan, also fom Ethiopia but who came to the Netherlands as a refugee aged 15, leading a group of five contesting the minor medal.

Ayana was unable to burn off Obiri as she had done her rivals in the 10,000m -- which she won by over 46sec -- with the Kenyan content to let her 25-year-old rival do all the pace-setting.

Her strategy paid off perfectly as heading into the final lap she moved up onto Ayana's shoulder and then delivered her coup de grace.

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