Almaz Ayana stages a stunning solo run in the 10,000m final on Day 2 of the London world championships

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Ayana_AlmazFL-WorCh17.jpgAlmaz Ayana, Olympic and World Champion, 10,000m (oh, yes, she has WR), photo by PhotoRun.net

The pedestrian pace for 3 kilometers was ended when Almaz Ayana woke up and took off, running a few 68-69 second laps. Her 5k time, from 3 kilometers to 8 kilometers, was 14:25! Only seven women have ever run that fast for a single five thousand meters.

Almaz Ayana stages a stunning solo run in the 10,000m final on Day 2 of the London world championships.

One of the main highlights in the evening of the second day of the IAAF championships in London was the women's 10,000m final race. It started out very slowly as runners crossed the first 400m in 1 minute 22 seconds. The first kilometer was crossed in 3:30.03 with Sitora Khamidova of Uzbekistan leading the field till after the 3000m point when Almaz Ayana moved to the front and started to break away from the rest.

The gap between the Ethiopian Olympic Champion and the rest of the field kept increasing further and further after the 4,000m until she crossed the finish line in a world leading time of 30:16.32. This was a 46.37 margin from her next competitor, and probably the biggest margin in the championship history. Ayana was simply in a different class of her own.

Behind Ayana was a different competition for the silver and bronze medals. At first, Tirunesh Dibaba seemed to have gotten out of contention with three Kenyans, Alice Aprot, Irene Cheptai and Agnes Tirop closing in on Yasemin Can of Turkey. But slowly by slowly, Dibaba managed to close the gap and joined the chasing pack. At the bell, the duel for the silver medal was between Tirop and Dibaba, and the two battled until almost the last 50 meters when Tirop lost it to Dibaba, who crossed the finish line in 31:02.69. Tirop settled for the bronze medal in 31:03.50.

Earlier on in the day, despite the absence of the reigning world and Olympic champion, David Rudisha, who picked up an injury on his final preparations for the championships, Kenyans still showed their dominance in the men's 800m event when all the three Kenyan athletes easily won their respective heats to advance into the semi-finals.

The youthful Kipyegon Bett won the first heat in 1:45.76 followed by Adreas Kramer of Sweden in 1:45.98 and US's Drew Windle in 1:46.08. Ferguson Rotich won the third heat ahead of Isaiah Harris of USA and Elliot Giles of Great Britain. Emmanuel Korir won the fourth heat ahead of Michal Rozmys of Poland and Thiago Andre of Brazil.

The first heat of the women's 1500m semi-final was arguably more competitive than the second given the presence of the Olympic champion, Faith Kipyegon and the world defending champion, Genzebe Dibaba besides Caster Semenya and Laura Muir, all in one heat. Kipyegon won the race, Muir took second while Semenya took the third position. Genzebe Dibaba who is as well the world record holder in the distance was at a risk of failing to advance to the finals after finishing 6th and only qualified by being one of the fastest losers.

Sifan Hassan won the second heat of the women's 1500m race followed by Meraf Bahta in second and Jennifer Simpson in third.

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