A spectacular women's 10,000m final and a record breaking men's 1500m on the final day of track running in Tokyo


The women's 10,000m lived up to the nine days of distance running in Tokyo. The drama of Letensebet Gidey desperately trying to hold off a focused Sifan Hassan was global TV.

In a fast 10,000m final, Sifan Hassan won her second gold medal and a third medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, successfully completing her treble quest.

Being the world record holder of the women's 10,000m event, it would appear as though Ethiopia's Letesenbet Gidey wanted to dictate a world record pace and let those who could manage it go with her. Gidey controlled the entire race from 3000m as she gradually increased the pace to keep whittling down the number of chasers behind her up to the remaining 200m.

With about five laps to go, Kenya's Hellen Obiri was dropped from the leading pack of four. Shortly after, Gidey seemed to have slowed down a little bit as she motioned for Sifan Hassan to overtake and still do some of the pacings for the remaining laps, but Hassan was contended with staying behind her. The other runner behind the two was Bahrain's Kalkidan Gezahegne.

At the bell, Gidey began to sprint, but the two other runners could not be easily shaken off. With 200m to go, Hassan overtook her. At the last bend, Gezahegne also overtook Gidey who appeared exhausted and followed Hassan in a sprint for the finish line. Hassan crossed the line in 29.55.32. Gezahegne followed in 29:56.18. Gidey came for third place in 30:01.72.

IMG_2242.jpgTimothy Cheruiyot pushes the pace in the 1,500m, photo by K.Camara

After always finishing behind Kenya's Timothy Cheruiyot in the men's 1500m ten times since 2017, Jakob Ingebrigtsen finally decided that it was enough and went for the Olympic gold medal in a new Olympic Record, area record, a national record, and a personal best time of 3:28.32.

Ingebrigtsen momentarily took to the front just after the gun, but Cheruiyot was not satisfied with the pace and overtook him to set a faster pace as he led all the way up to the last bend when Ingebrigtsen who had been running just at his heels suddenly surged forward. Cheruiyot could not match the finishing kick of Ingebrigtsen who went ahead to win the Olympic title.

Cheruiyot came in second ahead in 3:29.01 ahead of Josh Kerr of Great Britain in 3:29.05. In a show of great sportsmanship, Cheruiyot offered his bracelet to Ingebrigtsen after the race.

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