Defar Wins Gold In ‘Tactical’ 5,000m Race
Meseret Defar added yet global 5,000 metres gold to her bulging collection when she won the world title with a textbook and, what she called, a “tactical” performance on Saturday aided by her Ethiopian team mates.
Defar, twice Olympic champion and now double world champion, also has world silver and three global bronzes in the event after an extraordinarily consistent run over the past nine years and she was never threatened in her latest assault.
A pedestrian first half of the race briefly suggested some of the fast-finishers might be able to make a fight of it but with four laps to go Defar’s team mate Almaz Ayana put her foot down and immediately spread the field.
By the bell it was just the two Ethiopians and Kenya’s Mercy Cherono and Ayana played her role of domestique to perfection, towing Defar to the 200m mark when the favourite blasted clear to win with ease in 14 minutes 50.19 seconds.
Cherono came on to take silver in 14.51.22 ahead of Ayana (14.51.33).
Cherono also said she didn’t have any regrets about losing to Defar, insisting it was because of Defar that she became a stronger athlete.
It was a clean sweep for Ethiopia in the women’s distance events at this championship as Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba won the 10,000 metres earlier in the week.