Tirop settles for bronze as Ayana blasts to 10K glory

Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana celebrates winning the final of the women's 10,000m athletics event at the 2017 ...
Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana celebrates winning the final of the women's 10,000m athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 5, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Andrej ISAKOVIC

Former World Cross champion Agnes Tirop bagged a second bronze medal for Kenya in the women’s 10,000m as Olympic champion Almaz Ayana led Tirunesh Dibaba to an Ethiopian 1-2 at ongoing IAAF World Championships in London.

Tirop who was making her track debut settled for the least podium place after stopping the timer at 31:03.50 behind Dibaba (31:02.69) and Ayana who produced an extraordinary display to win the title by almost a minute (30:16.32) on Saturday.

African Champion Alice Aprot was fourth to cross the line after setting a season best of 31:11.86. World Cross champion Irene Cheptai (31:21.11) who was in the medal bracket faded of to seventh place.
Ayana, 25, who smashed the world record when winning in Rio last year,

Ayana hit the front with 16 laps to go as Aprot, Cheptai and Tirop stayed in the middle of the chasing pack of five athletes with Dibaba, the three-time Olympic gold medallist and five-time world champion also trailing.

With nine laps to go Ayana opened the gap further, lapping a few athletes. Unlike last year during the Rio Olympics, Aprot did not repeat her signature front running which had ultimately set up Ayana for the world record.

This time she kept a comfortable pace alongside her teammates, maintaining her position alongside the chasing pack that tried desperately to contend with Ayana’s searing pace.

Ayana, who has been out of action with a succession of injuries, moved into second with 20 laps remaining as Uzbek runner Sitora Khamdova set the pace.

The 5,000m Olympic bronze medalist had opened a gap of about 300m as Tirop and Aprot battled for the silver and bronze medals.

Ayana simply carried on extending her lead to almost a lap and stormed home to thunderous applause and once Dibaba had finally finished went on a lap of honour with her.

-Chepngetich sails through-

Olympic champion and Beijing World silver medalist Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon (4:03.54) will be the lone solider, carrying the country’s medal hopes in the women 1500m final on Monday at 11:50pm.

Her compatriot, African bronze medalist Winnie Chebet (4:06.29) bowed out of the race after finishing seventh in the second heat.

Chepngetich, will be on the look out for World Champion Genzebe Dibaba (4:05.33) who qualified as the fastest loser.

Dibaba presents Chepngetich’s only headache, and will have to sweat it out for the top podium place against Beijing bronze medalist Ethiopian Dutch Hassan Sifan (4:03.77) and two time Olympic and two time 800m champion Caster Semenya (4:03.80) of South Africa who is making her debut in the event.

Boniface Mweresa (45.58) qualified as the fastest looser for Sunday’s 400m sem-final. His countrymen Collins Omae (46.10) and Raymond Kibet (45.75) kissed the championships goodbye.

Mweresa will be joined later in the evening by Olympian Ferguson Rotich (1:45.77), Emmanuel Korir (1:47.08) and Kipyegon Bett (1:45.76) sailed through to the men’s 800m semi-final.

It was quite unfortunate for UTEP’s student Micheal Saruni who had been entered to compete in the 800m event but was dropped from the team few days to the championships.

Sunday 6th August schedule (Kenyan time)

12:05pm – 3000m Steeplechase men heats

12:55pm – Marathon (Men)

1:05pm – 400m Hurdles heats (men)

1:55pm – 400m heats (Women)

4:00pm – Marathon (women)

9:40pm – 400m men semi-final

11:15pm – 800m Men semi-final

-More soon…

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