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Almaz Ayana’s bold tactics cost her, gets upset by a Kenyan in Olympic 5,000m

Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot upset Ethiopian Almaz Ayana, the 10K world record holder, on Friday evening in the Olympic women's 5,000m.

Vivian Cheruiyot

Vivian Cheruiyot

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.

RELATED: The Internet reacts to the 10,000m record that rocked the running world.

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.

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.


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.

RELATED: See how Ayana’s 10,000m world record went down.

Women’s 5,000m results


1000m Miyuki UEHARA JPN 2:59.86
2000m Almaz AYANA ETH 6:00.36
3000m Almaz AYANA ETH 8:47.80
4000m Almaz AYANA ETH 11:39.75
1 946 Vivian Jepkemoi CHERUIYOTKEN 14:26.17 OR
2 954 Hellen Onsando OBIRIKEN 14:29.77 PB
3 641 Almaz AYANAETH 14:33.59
4 945 Mercy CHERONOKEN 14:42.89
5 649 Senbere TEFERIETH 14:43.75
6 1257 Yasemin CANTUR 14:56.96
7 1068 Karoline Bjerkeli GRØVDALNOR 14:57.53 PB
8 1036 Susan KUIJKENNED 15:00.69 PB
9 344 Eloise WELLINGSAUS 15:01.59 SB
10 325 Madeline HEINER HILLSAUS 15:04.05 PB
11 1348 Shelby HOULIHANUSA 15:08.89
12 329 Genevieve LACAZEAUS 15:10.35 PB
13 709 Eilish MCCOLGANGBR 15:12.09
14 653 Ababel YESHANEHETH 15:18.26
15 924 Miyuki UEHARAJPN 15:34.97
16 351 Jennifer WENTHAUT 15:56.11
17 1075 Nikki HAMBLINNZL 16:14.24 SB

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