Nairobi — In the absence of his training partner and friend Elijah Manangoi, Timothy Cheruiyot finally turned his silvers from the last two major championships to gold after decimating the field to clinch the 1500m title at the IAAF World Championships in Doha on Sunday.
Cheruiyot has played second fiddle to Manangoi in London 2017 and last year's Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, but he finally worked to get the gold in the absence of the former champion who missed the games due to injury.
Fresh from winning the IAAF Diamond Trophy, Cheruiyot tore a page off compatriot Beatrice Chepkoech's rule book to lead the race from gun to tape with a healthy lead, stopping the clock in 3:29.26.
From the gun, Cheruiyot bolted into the lead with youngster Ronald Kwemoi following in tow as the two Kenyans sought to take control of the race from the start in the presence of very fast finishers in Jakob Ingebrigsten and Mathew Centrowitz of the USA.
Cheruiyot stepped on the 400m mark with a split of 55seconds and completed the 800m mark in 1:51, underlying just how scorching the pace he had decided to take was.
What a race from @tim_cheruiyot! 🇰🇪
In dominant front-running display, the Kenyan wins 1500m 🥇in 3:29.26 - a true gun-to-tape victory.#WorldAthleticsChamps pic.twitter.com/NtYhrrigoQ
-- IAAF (@iaaforg) October 6, 2019
But just after the 800m mark, Kwemoi began to fade off with Cheruiyot growing stronger and stronger with no intention to slow down or even turn his head behind his shoulder.
At the bell, the front-leaning Cheruiyot stepped on the gas, with the chasing pack catching up with Kwemoi. However, any efforts to cut the gap between them and the Kenyan always looked like a project in futility.
The Kenyan increased his tempo to create a gap of more than 30m, one which he kept till he crossed the line with a huge smile on his face, punching the air with glee as the joy of a first ever major championship title sunk in his eyes.
Algerian Taoufik Makhloufi was second in 3:31.38 while Poland's Marcin Lewandowski clinched bronze in a national record time of 3:31.46.
Kwemoi finished seventh in 3:32.72.