After a fantastic High Jump duel had just finished, the public in Madrid was blessed with another world class battle.
With a new Championships Record of 15:18.15, Olga Yegorova registered her first victory since the European Cup last June. It had been a long time since we last saw the Russian’s devastating kick but today Yegorova stroke again and her last 200 metres were impressive.
In second, Marta Dominguez, who clocked 15:19.73, had time to thank the crowd and send a kiss towards the stands before crossing the line.
Jo Pavey was third in 15:20.10 and Benita Johnson fourth in 15:20.83.
Kenya’s Susan Chepkemei, running for Africa, decided to set the pace and led the race from the start. The Half Marathon World best performer and African champion at 10,000m was aware of her lack of finishing speed and held the lead all the way through to the second to last lap.
For the first four laps, Chepkemei and European champion Marta Dominguez (ESP), who was the only one who had decided to follow the African, had a ten-metre lead on the rest of the pack.
Russia’s Olga Yegorova, 2001 World champion at the distance, was leading a the chasing pack which included Jo Pavey (GBR) for Europe, Benita Johnson (AUS) for Oceania and Colette Liss (USA). Akiki Kawashima (JPN) for Asia was a few metres adrift while the rest of the field had dropped a long time before.
With 8 laps to go the chasing pack had closed the gap with the two leaders and positions at the front remained the same for another two laps: Africa, Spain, Russia, Europe, Oceania and USA.
With four laps to go it was Liss who lost touch with the leaders first leaving five athletes in the lead.
At the bell, the pace was dramatically quickened by Pavey and Chepkemei, who had always been in the lead was dropped. Pavey then Dominguez were temporarily in the lead until Yegorova attacked with 250 metres to go. The Russian and the Spaniard were level for 50 metres but when entering the last bend, Yegorova accelerated again and would never be caught.