Cheruiyot sprints to victory to reclaim 10,000m title

Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:03pm EDT
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By Nick Mulvenney

BEIJING (Reuters) - Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot won a thrilling last lap sprint to claim the women's 10,000 meters gold medal on Monday, capping her comeback season with her second world title in the longest track event.

The 31-year-old, who took 2014 off to have a child, hit the front with 300 meters to go and powered her way to victory in 31 minutes, 41.31 seconds to reclaim the title she won as part of a 5,000-10,000 double at the 2011 world championships in Daegu.

"This is my real comeback," she said. "I had many thoughts in my head during the race but I told myself I want to win no matter how hard it is. It is even more precious after I had my son a year ago."

Ethiopia's Gelete Burka stayed with Cheruiyot when the Kenyan sprinted away on the back straight but could not handle the pace in the final 100 meters and had to settle for silver in 31.41.77.

The bronze medal went to American Emily Infield (31.43.49), who pipped Molly Huddle on the line when her American team mate slowed to celebrate what she thought was going to be third place.

"In that last half step, I just let up too much," said a hugely disappointed Huddle.

"Emily was right there the whole time with just more momentum. She got that bronze. It’s going to take a long time to get over.

"I just didn’t want to mess up on the last lap and I did. I don’t know when that chance will come again."   Continued...

Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot of Kenya celebrates winning the women's 10,000 metres final during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China August 24, 2015. REUTERS/David Gray