Here’s Justin Lagat’s story on Paul Tanui’s silver medal in the 10,000 meters. Justin is our writer in Kenya, and also produces KenyanAthlete.com. We ask Justin to provide a Kenyan point of view for the performances of their athletes in Rio. Justin writes a weekly column for RunBlogRun titled A View from Kenya.
Paul Tanui delivers a second silver medal for Kenya on the 2nd day of athletics in the men’s 10,000m
The much anticipated race finally happened on the second day of athletic events in Rio; the men’s 10,000m final. Most Kenyans woke up at 3 am to watch this race. The start list was impressive with nine athletes on it having already run under 27 minutes for their personal best times. It was a tense moment for fans as the 34 athletes lined up at the starting line as it was hard to guess who would emerge the winner in such a competitive field.
As usual, Mo Farah started out by following the field from behind as Louis Ostos of Peru took them through the first kilometer in 2:55.20. Two Kenyans; Paul Tanui and Geoffrey Kamworor remained just behind the leaders until at around 3000m when Ethiopia’s Yigrem Demelash and Tamirat Tola went to the front and took up the pacing crossing the 5000m mark in 13:53.11.
All three Kenyans took to the front after 5K, but Bedan Karoki appeared more patient this time round and did not do much of his usual front running. Tanui did much of the pacing as he led the field through 6000m in 16:37.20. Bedan Karoki came to the front and cranked up the pace briefly as they approached 7000m, but still the pack at the front did not whittle down. It was still hard to guess the clear medal contenders given the size of the leading pack at the moment.
In the final stages, the two Ethiopians appeared at the front briefly before Mo Farah took over as Tanui followed him closely. Then, just after the bell, Tanui went to the front as Mo Farah followed. The two Ethiopians were following closely and a chance for a medal was still not yet guaranteed for Kenya; at least not until the last 200m when it became a clear battle between Tanui and Farah for the gold. Farah was able to kick past Tanui in the home straight to win the race in 27:05.17 as Tanui followed closely to take the silver medal in 27:05.64. Tola came in at 27:06.26 to win the bronze medal.
Meanwhile, even though they are yet to win any gold medal, the future still looks bright for Kenyans as all the three Kenyan women advanced to the finals in the 3000m steeplechase earlier in the day. Hyvin Kiyeng and Beatrice Chepkoech won their respective heats as Lydia Rotich managed to get through to the finals by being one of the fastest losers.
It was a similar scenario in the men’s 800m too as David Rudisha and Alfred Kipketer won their respective heats and Ferguson Rotich got through to the finals by becoming the fastest loser.
Looking at the men’s 800m and women 3000m prospects, one is tempted to count the chicks before the hen hatches.