Kenya: Hellen Obiri Wins 5000m Gold for Kenya

Kenya's Hellen Obiri competes with Ethiopians Senbere Teferi, Almaz Ayana and Susan Krumins of the Netherlands in the women's 5,000m at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London. AFP

Kenya's Hellen Obiri competes with Ethiopians Senbere Teferi, Almaz Ayana and Susan Krumins of the Netherlands in the women's 5,000m at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London. AFP

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.

Ayana led with Obiri on her shoulder into the final lap until the Kenyan, silver medallist in Rio de Janeiro a year ago, burst past with 300 metres left and stormed home to win in 14:34.86, more than five seconds clear of her rival.

Ayana, who had won the 10,000m gold in what was her first race of the season, took silver for Ethiopia in 14:40.35 with the Netherlands Sifan Hassan finishing third in 14:42.73.

"I was telling myself to go".

Ayana was unable to burn off Obiri as she had done her rivals in the 10,000m - which she won by over 46sec - with the Kenyan content to let her 25-year-old rival do all the pace-setting.

Ayana swung to the lead with Obiri taking queue for a scintillating show down that saw Obiri lead for the first time with 300m to go for victory.

After a season blighted by a leg injury and illness, Ayana looked back at her imperious best in the 10,000m but it soon became clear these exertions were catching up with the reigning champion. I am mentally strong so I knew I was capable.

Ayana had chose to inject some much-needed zip into the pace with nine laps to run and only Obiri was able to match her. "It was hard to push Hellen through to the finish line", said Ayana.

Obiri did not run the 10,000 metres last week and her decision to concentrate on the shorter distance paid off.

"I've had many injuries this year so I am very happy with two medals".