This is Justin Lagat’s column on Day Nine and two more medals for Kenya, one was gold in the Men’s 800 meters and one was silver, in the Women’s 5000 meters.
In what may have appeared to be an open race, the Olympic Champion got his tactics right to win the men’s 800m gold medal.
“The fact I didn’t run fast in the heats helped me preserve enough energy for the finals. It was a tough race given the participants, but I was courageous and confident. I knew everyone would be tired after the heats and the semi-finals, so I knew towards the last 100m it would be slow, and I would take advantage of that,” Emmanuel Korir, who won the race in a seasonal best time of 1:43.71, said.
Canada’s Marco Arop had taken control of the race just after the gun, but his legs appeared to fail him on the home straight as Korir ran past, then Djamel Sedjati of Algeria, who was also finishing strongly.
Korir’s win was a second gold medal for Kenya at the championships so far, after Faith Kipyegon’s in the women’s 1500m. His time is the 6th fastest this year so far.
“Now, the Kenyans must be happy; we have another gold medal. I thank everyone who helped us to be at this point,” he said.
Sedjati won the silver medal in 1:44.14, completing a full set of medals in the event for Algeria after Djabir Saïd-Guerni won gold in 2003 and bronze in 1999.
As a reward for ensuring a faster pace, Canada’s Marcos Arop, who had led much of the race, held on to win the bronze medal in 1:44.28.
There was a slow start in the women’s 5000m final as it appeared as though none of the runners was willing to do the pacing work for the rest. But, contrary to what anyone would have expected from the 1500m specialist, it was Gudaf Tsegay who initiated a faster pace. Perhaps the quickening of the pace was not so much a race tactic for her but an eagerness and excitement to become a world champion. As expected, the race turned into a sprint finish almost for the last 500m, and Tsegay ended up with the gold medal after crossing the finish line first in 14:46.29.
Beatrice Chebet of Kenya, who had stayed patient all through in the leading pack that had dwindled to 6 runners coming to the last lap, produced a great finish to take the silver medal in 14:46.75.
Dawit Seyaum’s 1500m speed also earned her the bronze medal in 14:47.36.