The 2013-2016 IAAF Strategic Plan has six Core Values: universality, leadership, unity, excellence, integrity and solidarity, and a Vision Statement: “To lead, govern and develop the sport of athletics in all its forms worldwide, uniting the Athletics Family in a spirit of excellence, integrity and solidarity.”
Coming into the championships as the fastest performer by far thanks to a 15:11.53 performance, Ethiopia’s Buze Diriba confirmed her favourite status in today’s final but winning didn’t prove as easy as she might have expected as Diriba only pipped her fellow Ethiopian Ruti Aga in the very last metre.
Actually, it was photo-finish final with respective clockings of 15:32.94 and 15:32.95, a career best for Aga.
Today’s became the third 5000m 1-2 for the Ethiopian squad and the country has now managed 6 out of 9 titles at stake so far since the event was only introduced in 1996. Kenya’s Agnes Jebet Tirop bagged the bronze medal also in a PB of 15:36.74.
After a quick opening lap which was covered in 1:12.46 the 18-women group began to decrease the speed and Uganda’s Nancy Cheptegei pulled the pack through a pedestrian 3:18.16 first kilometre. Kenya’s Agnes Jebet Tirop and Aga injected a brisker in the second 1000m section to hit the 2000m mark in 6:31,72.
Another increasingly fast third kilometre in 3:05.59 was enough to thin the leading group to seven by the 3000m point reached in 9:37.31 - the two Kenyans, the two Ethiopians, Russia’s Alena Kudashkina, America’s Cayla Hatton and Romania’s Monica Florea, who was the first to struggle.
Always with Aga and Tirop ruling the race, the clock was reading 12:39.31 by the 4000m point for a quick 3:02.00 split and shortly afterwards Kudashkina and Hatton also lost ground. The second Kenyan Caroline Kipkurui faltered some 700m from the tape and it became clear then who would occupy barring disaster the podium places, Aga, Diriba and Tirop.
By the bell Diriba led marginally ahead of Aga but her compatriot passed her with 350m remaining to unleash a powerful change of pace which left Tirop without winning chances in a matter of few strides.
The closing 200m were fascinating as Aga was in front but Diriba remained in hot pursuit. Diriba managed to pip Aga some 50m before the tape and the two 18-year-olds romped home virtually even but Diriba was given the win by the narrowest of the margins, one hundredth of a second. The extremely fast last 3000m only took Deriba 9:01.20, 1:05.22 for the closing lap.
Way back, America’s Hatton was a fine fourth in a PB of 15:50.32 ahead of Kipkurui’s 15:58.10 for fifth.