Hellen Obiri and Almaz Ayana gauge each other in the first heat of the women 5000m on Day 7 of the London world championships


Ayana_Almaz5kQ1a-London17.jpGAlmaz Ayana, photo by PhotoRun.net

Obiri_HellenQ-WC17.JPGHellen Obiri, photo by PhotoRun.net

Justin Lagat hit the nail on the proverbial head. The 5000 meter should be a battle of wills between Almaz Ayana and Hellen Obiri. That race will be on Sunday, Augus 13, 2017.

The women 5000m final promises to be one exciting race after the favorites comfortably qualified to run it on Saturday night. Of particular interest will be a duel between Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana and Kenya's Hellen Obiri.
Last year at the Rio Olympic Games, Ayana won the women 10,000m race in a world record time, then moved down to the 5000m event in an attempt to win two Olympic titles. But, Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot in the company of Obiri had trailed her at a safe distance and attacked very hard in the last two laps to overtake and settle her in a bronze position.

This time round, Ayana is already done with the 10,000m event. She is again on a mission to win two world titles here in London. To make her chances look better, Vivian Cheruiyot will not be there. Will Obiri manage to stop her without the teamwork she had from Cheruiyot in Rio?

As the two athletes moved to the front in the last lap of the first heat of the women 5,000m race, it would have been great to see them battle hard and provide a glimpse of what is likely to happen in Friday during the finals, but it seems they could have just done enough to ensure that they made it to the finals safely. The playing field will be fair for them as the two already have two other athletes each from their nations who also qualified to the finals and will be there to offer them team work.

Although all the Kenyan men in the 1500m race qualified to the semi-finals, Ronald Kwemoi did not look to be in his recent form as he appeared to be either sick or injured when he could not react to the surges from the rest of the competitors in the final straight, but he made it to the semi-finals by time.

Elijah Manangoi and Asbel Kiprop dominated the last stages of the first heat to finish first and second. The other Kenyan in heat three, Timothy Cheruiyot, also made it into the semi-finals by finishing second in the fastest heat that qualified a total of eleven athletes into the semi-finals.

More surprising than Kwemoi's performance in the men's 1500m race was Olympic Champion, Mathew Centrowitz's last finish in heat 1 of the race.

In the women's 800m heats, all the favorites; Ajee Wilson, Caster Semenya, Francine Niyonsaba, Margaret Wambui, Melissa Bishop and Lynsey Sharp, among others. But this could be one race that is most likely not to have any surprises in the semi-finals and also in the finals.

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