Vivian Cheruiyot won with a 62-second closing lap.
By David Monti (c) 2011 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.
DAEGU — Like the marathon this morning, the Kenyan women swept the podium in the 10,000m here tonight on the first day of the 13th IAAF World Championships in Athletics, led by Vivian Cheruiyot who clocked a personal best 30:48.98. Cheruiyot, the defending 5000m champion at these championships, upset her close friend and teammate Linet Masai who finished third in 30:53.59.
Sally Kipyego, the former Texas Tech star who now runs for the Oregon Track Club Elite in Eugene, snagged the silver in 30:50.04. Cheruiyot, this year’s 5000m list-leader, followed the race’s major move when Masai dropped the pace down with a 71.6-second lap through 7200m. That ripped the lead pack in half, leaving only Cheruiyot, Masai, Kipyego, Kenyan Priscah Cherono and Ethiopian Meselech Melkamu in contention.
Cheruiyot saved her best for last, running 71.4 through 9600 and finishing off the race with a sub-62 second final lap. “I’m lucky because the 10,000 isn’t a real event for me,” Cheruiyot said. “Now, I’m going to race in 5000. That is my main event now, and I hope I not be tired.”
The women’s 5000m competition begins on Thursday morning. For Kipyego, who won her first international medal tonight, it was an incredibly satisfying race, and not just for her. “It’s a wonderful day for Kenya,” Kipyego summarized. “It’s a wonderful day for the entire country.”