Brilliant Cheruiyot Bags second Gold, Ruins Ethiopian Dream

Sep 02, 2011

The strength and power of Vivian Cheruiyot sparkled yet again here at the Daegu Stadium as she made history by becoming the first Kenyan runner to win two Gold medals at the World Athletics championships with a superb run in the 5000m on Friday.

Cheruiyot combining experience and determination shattered the hopes of perennial track rivals Ethiopia led by Meseret Defar as she scooped her second championship title tagging along Sylvia Kibet as Kenya pocketed the Gold and Silver Medals.

"I am incredibly happy to be a double  gold medallist,"Said Cheruiyot after becoming the first athlete to win double gold in Daegu and the second woman in the championship history after Tirunesh Dibaba-after her triumph in both the 5000m and 10000m women's races.

"After winning the 10000m on Saturday I felt strong and motivated and in good shape to defend my title in 5000m."

But unlike Saturday's 100000m race, the shorter race started off very slowly with the Kenyan quartet of Cheruiyot, Kibet, Linet Masai and Mercy Cherono staying in the leading pack which also included Defar and teammates Genzebe Dibaba and Sentayehu Ejigu.

Midway through the race Masai, the bronze medalist from Saturday’s 10000m race moved ahead to up the pace with her compatriots in tow, effectuating the team plan to scuttle the Ethiopian threat.

Cheruiyot who is also the reigning World Cross Country champion then eased past her team-mate with Dibaba, the young sister of Tirunesh and Defar shadowing, patently uneasy the petite runner would scamper away with five laps to go.

At the 4000m mark the race was awfully slow at 12:13.6 with Cheruiyot well poised for her historic win and rare display brilliance.

She became an ambassador for her country as the Kenyan national anthem played the  fifth time and the second because of her brace in Gold.

After the bell, the 27-year-old, glided away from the pack with Defar racing her down and Kibet the silver medalist from Berlin hot on their heels.

Just like she did in 2009, Cheruiyot held on to the lead with a second gold in sight she raced to win in 14:55.36 with Kibet outrunning the Ethiopian in the home stretch for silver(14:56.21). Defar, settled for her second consecutive bronze at the worlds, her only medal from the Asian event.

"This is a rare feat and am glad  I have achieved this today. As most Kenyan athletes we normally have one thing in common we work together and plan as a team,"said the double World champion who is trained by her husband Moses Kiplagat.

"I knew with about 200m remaining that she would win the Gold. She had the courage and was strong enough to push on,"said Kiplagat who plans to slaughter a bull to celebrate his wife's historical feat.

"Our team tactic was to stay together and let Vivian go in front on the last three laps because she is better in the long kick while as we wait until the 400m,"added Kibet.

The silver medalist was equally thrilled by the win, Kenya's fifth gold in Daegu three of them won by the female runners.

"During the first half of the race I thought I would get the bronze but after 3km I felt I was still strong.Vivian is very strong I could not get today maybe in future am going to find out from her what her secrete is."

The  10000 meters champion showed her mettle and rubber-stamped Kenya’s authority as a nation with a special breed of  long distance runners as Kenya momentarily climbed the medal table into second place behind track and field giants USA as Ethiopians were left pondering yet again after a disappointing outing in Berlin just what went wrong.

"I am certainly not happy today as I was targeting two gold medals because I was in good shape. But I contracted a bacteria on the flight and the medication I've been on weakened me."

Another happy man was Cheruiyot's manager Ricky Simm's of PACE after watching his top athlete, Jamaican Usain Bolt qualify without any pressure for the men's 200m final and the double gold for kenya.

"I think its evident that she is now in the running for the IAAF female athlete of the year,two golds here, she is topping the diamond league standings and is the reigning world cross champ."

Youngester Mercy Cherono and Linet Masai finished in fifth and sixth positions respectivey behind Ethiopian Sentayehu Ejigu.It was an exceptional perfomance for the former World junior champion who has had to balance her training for her first major race as a senior and her studies with the National secondary school examinations,KSCE looming.

'"Now I go back to prepare for my exams in October and then I begin my training for the Olympics," said the 20 year old student at Ngariyet Secondary School in Sotik. 

Kenya Miss out on Relay medal


The men's 4x400m hopes for a medal melted away in the second lap after a poor change over of the baton between Vincent Kosgei who anchored the team and Vincent Mumo. Anderson Mureta tried to close in the gap between the leaders South Africa, Jamaica and the United States team but it was a little too late. Mark Mutai's long shot at medal were fizzled as the Russians and Belgian teams raced ahead as Kenya finished sixth in 3:01.15. US won the gold(2:59.31) South Africa  scooped silver in 2:59.87 and Jamaica bronze in 3:00.10.

Jepksogei only Kenyan in 800m final

Jepkosgei ran her season best of 1:58.50 as she booked her slot in the women’s 800m final behind Russian Mariya Savinova(1:58.45).

But even Jepkosgei had to survive an early trip before stabilising to ease it to the second position from the semi-final.
“Its going to be a very strong final but am ready for it,”said Jepkosgei the silver medalist in 2007.
“At least this time am familiar with the runners, I have raced the Russians and I know Semenya unlike in Berlin when she had just sprung from nowhere.”

Kenyan’s Cherono Koech (2:01.48)who had complained of discomfort in her knees was locked out of the finals after placing sixth from her heat the fastest of the day won by South African Caster Semenya, back to defend her title from Berlin in 1:58.07.  
Eunice Sum also running in her first major championship ranked fourth the first semifinal in 1:59.94 won by yet another Russian Yuliya Rusanova(1:58.73).    

 

Evelyn Watta in Daegu

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