Cheptegei gains Olympic consolation in men’s 5,000 metres
Newsfrom JapanSports Tokyo 2020
Tokyo, Japan | AFP
Joshua Cheptegei made up for his silver in the 10,000 metres to win the 5,000m Olympic title on Friday, succeeding two-time champion Mo Farah.
The 24-year-old Ugandan world record holder in the distance timed 12min 58.15sec.
Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed won silver in 12:58.61 and the USA’s Paul Chelimo the bronze in 12:59.05.
Farah -- who achieved the ‘double double’ of 5,000 and 10,000m at the 2012 and 2016 Games -- failed to qualify for the Games.
He had switched back to the track after originally targeting the marathon.
Cheptegei, though, has clearly assumed the mantle, even though he slipped up tactically in the 10,000m last Friday.
He and team-mate Jacob Kiplimo alternated in taking the field along and this time their tactics worked a treat.
Kenya’s Nicholas Kimeli and Ethiopian Milkesa Mengesha shadowed whichever Ugandan took up the pace and were ready to pounce.
However, Mengesha’s decision to take the lead with around 500 metres to go prompted Cheptegei to take control and the Ethiopian’s challenge quickly faded and he finished 10th.
Cheptegei led down the back straight, with Kimeli giving chase, and it was the 22-year-old Kenyan who looked the most threatening as they rounded the bend to hit the finishing straight.
However, Cheptegei was in no mood to concede and he strode away, with Ahmed running on late to add silver to his world bronze from 2019.
Chelimo just managed to get the better of the unfortunate Kimeli, the 30-year-old Kenyan-born naturalised American adding Olympic bronze to his silver in Rio five years ago.
© Agence France-Presse