The Kenyan men’s trio Geoffrey Kamworor, Peter Tanui and Bedan Muchiri gave Kenya the best performance that Kenyan men have had in a World 10,000 meters since 1993! Here is a column Justin Lagat, our Kenyan correspondent, who does his weekly A View from Kenya, on topics important to Kenyan athletics fans!
Geoffrey Kamworor, photo by PhotoRun.net
Geoffrey Kamworor wins men’s rare 10,000m Silver medal for Kenya, by Justin Lagat
Mo Farah again remained to be the man to beat in the 10,000m race. Just before this race, one elite Kenyan athlete, whose thoughts could very well be reflective of that of many other long distance track athletes, had send me a message. He had told me that if Mo Farah got lucky tonight to win the gold medal, then he himself will make sure that he surely won’t be lucky again at the Olympic Games in Rio next year. Well, Mo Farah managed to emerge victorious again in a hotly contested race. Every athlete will now be longing to battle him in the upcoming races. Questions as to how and who will beat Mo Farah will continue to be asked.
Mo Farah, 120 meters to go! photo by PhotoRun.net
These same questions were being asked when the likes of Kenenisa Bekele and Zersenay Tadese were dominating the long distance events too in their time. I remember instances when Bekele would even stop to tie a lace his spikes and still get to close the gap and go ahead to win in major cross country races. However, their supremacy came to an end. It is now a matter of when that will happen with Mo Farah. If it will be in Rio, lucky is the guy who will defeat him as he will be referred to as the man who finally ousted the seemingly undefeatable runner from the throne.
The Kenyans in this race today were impressive in the way they worked together as a team to try and win medals for their nation. For the first time in the last fourteen years, they achieved the best that has ever been achieved in this event at the IAAF world championships by Kenyan men; a Silver and a Bronze medal.
Paul Tergat’s was the last Silver medal achieved by a Kenyan runner in this event in 1999. Charles Kamathi won a gold medal later in 2001, but that was the last time that a Kenyan achieved anything better than a Bronze medal. Not until Geoffrey Kamworor did it again today inside the Bird’s Nest in Beijing, China.
After the first few laps, it was evident that the Kenyans had a plan to control the race from the start to the finish. Paul Tanui, Bedan Karoki and Geoffrey Kamworor were doing the pacing in shifts. The relatively fast pace left the other athletes following in a single file and soon it was only the athletes who had personal best times below 27 minutes remaining in the leading pack of five; the three Kenyans, Mo Farah and Galen Rupp.
At some points towards the end of the race, Mo Farah would move to the front but Kamworor would not allow him to stay there for even a few seconds. It was until the last six hundred meters when Mo Farah made a determined move to the front and the Kenyans followed in hot pursuit. It was Geoffrey Kamworor who hung for the longest time after the bell and still showed some chances of beating Farah with about 100m to go, but lost strength to continue fighting with 50m to go and settled for the Silver medal. Paul Tanui followed him to win the Bronze medal while Bedan Karoki finished in fourth position.
This race in general was one of the most electrifying races especially after the five athletes had remained in the lead pack. I could tell this by checking on my Twitter page and noticing that only a few people were providing updates as everyone was apparently glued to their screens.
Well, if Mo Farah will not be beaten again at the Olympic Games in Rio next year in the 10,000m, I just don’t know what I will say!
First, let’s see if he will double again in the 5000m in one week’s time.