Selemon Barega replaces Mo Farah as the new 10,000m champion after claiming gold at Tokyo…while Team GB’s Sam Atkin pulls up with a calf problem
Selemon Barega has been crowned as the new 10,000m champion after the London 2012 and Rio 2016 gold medal winner, Mo Farah, failed to qualify for this summer’s Games.
World record holder Joshua Cheptegei was among the favourites to win the race, while Jacob Kiplimo fancied his chances after registering the fastest time in the world earlier this year at 26.33.93.
However, it was Barega who asserted his dominance after the bell went and produced a final lap of 53.94 to bring home the gold medal for Ethiopia.
Selemon Barega (above) has been crowned as the new 10,000m champion after taking gold
He will take the title from Mo Farah – who failed to qualify for this summers Olympic Games
Barega’s final lap was enough to hold off Cheptegei and Kiplimo, who took home silver and bronze retrospectively.
As a result, Barega has not only replaced Farah as the new Olympic champion, but has also followed in the footsteps of Kenenisa Bekele – who won gold at Athens and Beijing.
World record holder Joshua Cheptegei was among the favourites to win the race, while Jacob Kiplimo fancied his chances after registering the fastest time in the world earlier this year
TOP THREE TIMES
1/ Selemon BAREGA ETH 27.43.22
2/ Joshua CHEPTEGEI UGA 27.43.63
3/ Jacob Kiplimo UGA 27.43.88
However, the 21-year-old did appear to be taking home gold until the final lap – having sat in the firmly in the middle of the group until then.
It was Stephen Kissa who stormed off into the lead and acted as a pace-maker for his colleagues at the start of the race.
He maintained a steady pace, creating a 75m and seven second gap ahead of Kiplimo within the first five laps.
However, Kenya’s Rodger’s Kwemoi put an end to Kissa’s solo effort on the 9,000m mark.
While Rhonex Kipruto and Barega also put pressure on the leaders and positioned themselves as real challengers on the 20th lap.
Canada’s Mohamed Ahmed – who finished the race in fifth place – also pushed on in the final 600m.
While Italy’s Yemane Crippa travelled well throughout and pressured the top three in the final 500m.
Team GB’s Sam Atkin was forced to pull up with a calf problem during the Olympic final
However, Barega coped well with the pressure produced a decisive performance worthy of a gold medal.
As for Team GB, it was disappointment for Sam Atkin – who was forced to pull up with a calf problem despite having 11 laps left to run.
Therefore, the pressure fell on Marc Scott – who finished just outside the medals in fourth place.