Faith Kipyegon and Joshua Cheptegei win second gold medal s for their nations


Justin Lagat wrote this piece on the masterful Women's 1,500m and the exciting Men's 5000m, won by Faith Kipyegon (Kenya) and Joshua Cheptegai (Uganda).

From the heats to the semi-finals, Kenya's Faith Kipyegon appeared so seriously focused on defending her Olympic title in the women's 1500m race that she would not even risk finishing behind anyone else and failing to qualify to the next round.

In today's finals, Kipyegon ran slightly behind her perceived main challenger and took her time before sprinting to the front in the last 300m. Hassan who had been leading the race almost from the beginning tried to resist being overtaken, but could not match Kipyegon's finishing speed. As Kipyegon extended the lead at the front, Great Britain's Laura Muir came strongly to overtake Hassan in the home stretch, apparently appearing that the many races she had already done were beginning to take a toll on her.

Kipyegon recorded a new Olympic record time of 3:53.11 to win a consecutive Olympic title becoming the first Kenyan woman to ever do so. Muir followed to win the silver medal in a new national record of 3:54.50, with Hassan taking the bronze medal in 3:55.86.

The world record holder, Joshua Cheptegei was not contented with the silver medal he won in the 10,000m on the first day of athletics and ran a well-calculated race to win the gold medal in the men's 5000m final.

For some time in the middle of the race, Cheptegei had taken to the front as though to ensure that it was a decent pace before moving back into the pack leaving Kenya's Nicholas Kimeli to do the rest of the pacing at the front. With about 600m to go, Cheptegei made his way again to the front, but this time around, he made sure that no one else would overtake him up to the finish line where he crossed it for the gold medal in 12:58.15.

Perhaps having learned from the mistake he did by moving to the front too early in the 10,000m final, Canada's Ahmed Mohammed remained patient throughout the race and only made his move in the last lap where he overtook four runners to end up in the silver medal position in 12:58.61. Paul Chelimo of the US dived across the finish line in 12:59.05 to edge out Kimeli.

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