Vivian silver fails to light up bad night as gold slips away
Posted Sunday, August 12 2012 at 00:17
- Obiri fails to retain Jebet’s title as Ethiopia’s Defar returns to stun opponents
After David Rudisha’s explosive gold medal winning and world record-breaking run in Thursday’s 800 metres final, normal transmission resumed for Kenya at the Olympic Stadium the following night.
Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot dug in for silver in a 5,000m final won by Ethiopia’s Meseret Defar, the 2004 champion in Athens, while pre-race favourite Tirunesh Dibaba had to settle for bronze in 15 minutes, 04.25 seconds.
With Defar firing on all cylinders for the gold medal in 15:04.25, team mate Dibaba’s bid for a historic 10,000m and 5,000m double came a cropper.
Later in the night Kenya lost the 1,500m title won by Nancy Jebet Lagat in Beijing four years ago.
Not happy with silver
Hellen Obiri, the Kenyan lone ranger in the race, was impeded with 150 metres to go by USA’s Uceny Morgan, who had tripped and fallen down, the World Indoor champion bringing up the raer in 12th place.
“She (Morgan) fell in front of me just as I was kicking and this caught me off balance as I was also spiked in the process,” Obiri, who incidentally was also tripped in the World Championships final in Daegu last year, said. “But I’m happy because reaching an Olympic final is not easy.”
Cheruiyot (15:05.15) – the double 5,000m and 10,00m champion at the World Championships in Daegu last year – said she was not happy with her silver medal.
“I have achieved everything in athletics and I’m very disappointed to come out of these Olympics without a gold medal,” Cheruiyot, also a former World Cross Country champion, said. “These are my third Olympics and I expected a gold medal.”
Defar broke down after the race, removing a photograph of the Virgin Mary and Jesus from inside her running singlet and showing it to the cameras.
“I’m very happy. This is a great day for me. Since 2008 I have tried everything and wasn’t able to win the Olympics,” the Addis Ababa-born champion said.
Medal means a lot
“I have been hoping for this day for a long time. I have won two Olympic medals before, this is my third. I’m not sure I can do a fourth, so this means a lot to me.”
Kenya’s Sally Kipyego was fourth and Viola Kibiwott sixth.
Kenya’s hunt for medals continues Sunday in the men’s marathon with World champion Abel Kirui, London Marathon champion Wilson Kipsang and World Marathon Majors title holder Emmanuel Mutai.