For the second time in as many medal races, Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana dropped a huge mid-race surge to try to break open the field. This time, in the women’s 5,000m, her bold tactics cost her.
Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot bridged a 25-metre gap in the latter stages of the race and passed Ayana to win in 14:26.17. The 32-year-old Kenyan was joined on the podium by teammate Hellen Obiri. Ayana ended up in third after using similar tactics as she did in the women’s 10,000m.
Cheruiyot’s time is an Olympic record. She was the world champion in the women’s 10,000m and has a very impressive resume. However, considering Ayana broke the 10,000m world record just last week, she was the favourite heading into the 5,000m.
Cheruiyot is the first Kenyan to win the Olympic women’s 5,000m.
ANOTHER BITE OF THE CHERUIYOT!#Rio2016
— SPIKES (@spikesmag) August 20, 2016
It was a warm and humid night at the Olympic stadium in Rio. Before the women’s 5,000m, the Kenyan appeared to get some good luck wishes from Usain Bolt. It proved to be a good luck charm as she went on to pull off the upset over the Ethiopian.
Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya got well wishes from Usain Bolt moments before she WON Women's 5000M in 14:26.17 new OR. pic.twitter.com/JXY6jK2zO2
— Team Jamaica (@JamaicaOlympics) August 20, 2016
— CBC Olympics (@CBCOlympics) August 20, 2016
Ayana won the women’s 10,000m earlier in Rio to kick off the Rio Olympics. She smashed the previous world record running 29:17.46. Only Tirunesh Dibaba has won both the women’s 5,000m and 10,000m at the same Olympics.
— IAAF (@iaaforg) August 20, 2016
Women’s 5,000m results
|1||946||Vivian Jepkemoi CHERUIYOTKEN||14:26.17||OR|
|2||954||Hellen Onsando OBIRIKEN||14:29.77||PB|
|7||1068||Karoline Bjerkeli GRØVDALNOR||14:57.53||PB|
|10||325||Madeline HEINER HILLSAUS||15:04.05||PB|