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Faith Kipyegon returns to winning ways in Kenyan Olympic trials

By AFP

June 14, 2024 11:14 PM


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Kenya's two-time Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon returned to form on Friday with a win in the women's 5,000m at trials in Nairobi for the Paris Games, brushing off injuries that had sidelined her for months.

It was the 30-year-old's first race of the year after pulling out of last month's Prefontaine Classic Diamond League in Oregon with a muscle injury.

The two-time Olympic 1500m champion, who is aiming for an unprecedented hat-trick in Paris, stayed tucked inside the track before making her move with four laps remaining to win in a relatively slow time of 14min 46.28sec.

Beatrice Chebet, fresh off from setting the women's 10,000m world record of 28:54.14 at Prefontaine, finished six seconds behind Kipyegon in 14:52.55, with Margaret Chelimo (46:59.35) coming in third.

"I am really grateful to come back from a very difficult moment for the trials and winning the race," Kipyegon said.

"I have missed a lot," she added.

She said she was pleased with her return a year after setting three world records -- the mile, the 1500m and the 5,000m -- and winning two world golds in Budapest.

Kipyegon will be back Saturday for her speciality, the 1500m, in which she won gold medals in Rio in 2016 and then again in Tokyo five years later.

While already picked for the 1500m, she said she was undecided on whether to run the double.

Elsewhere, Mary Moraa, the reigning world women's 800m champion, suffered her second successive defeat in three weeks after being beaten into second place by Lilian Odira.

"Olympic trials are never for the selected few. It depends on how you have prepared for the day," Odira said.

The men's 800m was equally dramatic with two-time champion Emmanuel Korir eliminated after finishing sixth in the first semi-final.

Reigning world champion Emmanuel Wanyonyi was reinstated for Saturday's final after a collision saw him fall just 10 metres from the finish line.

Both world 3,000m steeplechase bronze medallist Faith Cherotich and world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech qualified for the Olympics.

The 2019 1,500m world champion Timothy Cheruiyot was beaten into second place by newcomer Reynold Cheruiyot.


AFP


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