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Olympics: Kenyan Cheruiyot trumps Ayana for 5000m gold

The 32-year-old stayed true to her word in the 5,000m final and did not panic when Ayana burst into the lead, winning Kenya's first ever medal over the distance and cementing her legacy as her country's most decorated female athlete.

Ayana, who broke the world record in the 10,000m event, had opened up a big gap with two laps to go, but Cheruiyot timed her surprise attack to precision and never looked back from that point on.

Obiri took advantage of Ayana's fast failing "gas power" and also overtook the 10000 Olympic champion to win silver in 14:29 and lead a 1-2 Kenyan finish. The only bet they'd offer was basically even money on her setting the world record.

"I did not believe that I could beat Ayana". Today I said, 'I am going to follow her.

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Kenya's Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot reacts after winning the gold medal in the 5000 meter finals during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 19, 2016.

Japan's Miyuki Uehara set the early pace at the Olympic Stadium, Ayana sitting comfortably in second, with Cheruiyot and Obiri on her shoulder.

"I am moving to marathon and I will be running in the Newcastle Half-Marathon next month to prepare for the London marathon next year", said Cheruiyot. "We worked together and I could see she was not pushing as she did in the 1,000 meters race so Helen made a decision to chase, then later I chose to go that's when I realized we were closing the gap and I decided if I pass her, I wouldn't stop so that if she chased she would burn out", she added.

"We decided if she does 66 seconds per lap we do 68, so that we remain close to her and not burn out. I saw the gap closing, then I said if I close this gap I would not let go", Cheruiyot said. D'Agostino then helped Hamblin two her feet, and the pair completed the final five laps of the race side-by-side, despite D'Agostino having torn her ACL in the collision. "Helen also went on maternity leave and returned to win this silver", she said.

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