Double win for Kenya as Obiri, Manangoi clinch top two titles

Double win for Kenya as Obiri, Manangoi clinch top two titles

World champions Hellen Obiri and Elijah Manangoi made it a majestic Day 10 at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia when they led Kenyan 1-2s in their respective fields at the Carrara Stadium.

Olympic silver medalist Obiri raced to the women’s 5000m honours when she uncorked that killer kick again to leave Margaret Chelimo second after the two had long put distance between themselves and the chasing field.

Obiri stopped the timer in 15:13.11 for the winning performance as Chelimo clocked home second in 15:15.28 with Laura Weightman of England completing the top three places in 15:25.84.

The only other Kenyan in the race, Eva Cherono, was unable to match her compatriots in pushing for the podium places but set a new personal best of 15:36.10 as she finished seventh.

In the men’s 1500m final, Manangoi crossed the finish in 3:34.78 to lead his training partner Timothy Cheruiyot (3:35.17) to an identical 1-2 finish as that witnessed at the World Championships in London last year.

Jake Wightman of Scotland clocked 3:35.97 for third place with Kenya’s other representative in the race, Kumari Taki coming seventh in a time of 3:38.74.

“We executed the race exactly the way we had planned it. We depended on team work and hoped for a clean podium sweep. I knew I was in pretty good shape and I could manage weather the pace saw fast or slow.

“I’m very happy with Cheruiyot because he likes team work and he is not a jealous person. We are both coached by trainer and he pushes me to go to the front,” Manangoi said.

Obiri dedicated her win to to her son whom she said will soon be turning three and said the victory had been important in justifying the wild card she had been given for the Games.

“Being a Commonwealth champion is a big improvement for me and it’s very important. It earns you respect amongst your peers. My son had asked me if I got a medal in my bag but told him to wait for it today,” she said.

The 28-year-old took charge of the race with nine laps remaining as Chelimo and Cherono followed her closely in a land of six ladies. Chelimo took control from Obiri with six laps remaining as Cherono remained tacked behind them.

Obiri charged ahead again as Chelimo followed closely to open a small gap with five laps remaining.

The two went for the kill early as two Australian ladies tried to chase them. By this stage Cherono had lost touch with the lead group after falling back to sixth place.

The lead of about 40m went on in a comfortable pace as the Kenyan duo left no chance for the rest of competitors lead by Ugandan Juliet Chekwel to catch up.

When the bell off it was a clear gold and silver for the country as Chekwel chased for bronze.

In the last lap it was not an easy run for Obiri as her main competitor Chelimo threatened to deny her second major title but she did just enough to ward her off.

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