Kenya's Obiri denies Ayana world double

Laura Muir

Muir was competing in her first major 5,000m final

The early stages of the 5000m final played out in an nearly identical manner to the 10,000m with Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana making a huge surge after a ponderous opening to proceedings but while the Kenyan challenge fettered away in the 10,000m, Hellen Obiri produced an irresistible burst of speed on the last lap to deny the reigning champion a much vaunted long distance double.

Ethiopia's Ayana, victor of the 10,000 meters at the championships, and Obiri broke clear of the pack after one third of the race and opened up a huge gap as they set a blistering pace.

Ayana led with Obiri on her tail into the final lap until the Kenyan, silver medalist in Rio de Janeiro previous year, suddenly burst past with 300 meters left and stormed home to win in 14:34.86, more than five seconds clear of her rival.

Ayana was being chased down by the fast-finishing Sifan Hassan on the last lap but the Ethiopian had enough of a buffer to hang onto silver medal position in 14:40.36.

"I was telling myself to go".

Ayana was bronze medallist over the distance in Rio where she also won the 10,000 metres and set a world record. I am mentally strong so I knew I was capable. She has been plagued by injury this season and the 10,000 race on Aug.5 was her first of the season.

Ayana seized the initiative with nine laps left, Obiri followed and after steadily increasing the gap, they were more than 50 metres clear with four to go. With a last lap of 60.11, Obiri crossed the finish line in 14:34.87 to secure her first global outdoor title, punching the air in delight. "I am better at leading it to get the win rather than challenging in a final sprint".

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