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Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot Sets 5000M Olympic Record, Wins Gold At Rio Olympics

Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot,  the country's most decorated athlete, finally got her hands on an Olympic gold medal after winning the women’s 5,000 metres on Friday by upsetting favourite Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia in the final.  Cheruiyot also set a new Olympic record. The 32-year-old on Friday clocked 14 minutes 26.17 seconds to beat the previous mark held by Gabriela Szabo of Romania by more than 14 seconds.  Kenya's Hellen Onsando Obiri took silver in a personal best 14:29.77 with Ethiopa's Almaz Ayana grabbing bronze in 14:33.59.


Cheruiyot, holder of four world titles in 5,000m and 10,000m, and who returned from maternity leave last year to clinch the world double in Beijing, beat Ethiopian Almaz Ayana to a surprise 5,000m Olympic gold medal in the Olympic Stadium.
Mercy Cherono of Kenya was fourth and Ethiopia's Senbere Teferi, runner-up in the event at 2015 world championships, was fifth.
Cheruiyot claimed silver in the 5,000m at the London 2012 Games. Her victory on Friday was her second medal at these Games, having also taken silver in the women's 10,000m, which was won by Ayana.  Cheruiyot, 32, had been the nearly woman in her last three Olympic finals, winning two silver medals and one bronze, but she ran a superb tactical race to outwit 5,000m world champion Ayana in a Games best time of 14.26:17.
“It was my fourth Olympic Games and I had not had gold,” Cheruiyot told reporters.
1 946 Vivian Jepkemoi CHERUIYOTKEN 14:26.17 OR
2 954 Hellen Onsando OBIRIKEN 14:29.77 PB
3 641 Almaz AYANAETH 14:33.59  
4 945 Mercy CHERONOKEN 14:42.89  
5 649 Senbere TEFERIETH 14:43.75  
6 1257 Yasemin CANTUR 14:56.96  
7 1068 Karoline Bjerkeli GRØVDALNOR 14:57.53 PB
8 1036 Susan KUIJKENNED 15:00.69 PB
9 344 Eloise WELLINGSAUS 15:01.59 SB
10 325 Madeline HEINER HILLSAUS 15:04.05 PB
11 1348 Shelby HOULIHANUSA 15:08.89  
12 329 Genevieve LACAZEAUS 15:10.35 PB
13 709 Eilish MCCOLGANGBR 15:12.09  
14 653 Ababel YESHANEHETH 15:18.26  
15 924 Miyuki UEHARAJPN 15:34.97  
16 351 Jennifer WENTHAUT 15:56.11  
17 1075 Nikki HAMBLINNZL 16:14.24 SB


“I’m so happy for me, my husband, my son, my parents. This might be the last Olympics for me so I thought maybe God might give me gold.”
Ahead of the race, all eyes were on Ayana, who last week shaved 14 seconds off the 10,000m world record in one of the greatest ever long-distance races.
The Ethiopian looked to be on the way to another dominant victory after surging into a huge lead four laps into the race but she tired in the closing stages and was unable to hold off Cheruiyot’s late burst.
Cheruiyot, a four-times world champion over 5,000m and 10,000m, had to settle for silver over the longer distance but afterwards said she would be Olympic champion one day. She stayed true to her word in the 5,000m and did not panic when Ayana burst into the lead, winning Kenya’s first ever women’s medal over the distance and cementing her legacy as a Kenyan long-distance great.
Her compatriot Hellen Onsando Obiri clocked a personal best of 14:29.77 to take silver.
“Ethiopia were very strong. We decided to go for teamwork,” Obiri said. “”We already knew that Kenya was going to win the gold. It was just who would it be.”
Ayana had to settle for bronze.


Africa Team

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