Faith eclipses favourite Dibaba

Faith eclipses favourite Dibaba

Faith eclipses favourite Dibaba

When you have faith in your name, winning is only a matter of time. Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon proved it emphatically on Tuesday, outwitting world record holder Genzebe Dibaba to win the gold in the women’s 1500 metres in Olympic Games athletics.

On the fifth night of the athletics programme, Kipyegon’s commanding win over the Ethiopian was the highlight even as Om­ar Mc­Leod in the 110M hurdles and Derek Drouin in high jump notched up maiden Olympic triumphs to join the honours list.

At the Olympic Stadium on a warm night, Dibaba’s lack of preparedness shone through when the Kenyan easily overtook her in the final lap to dash the Olympic aspirations of the youngest of the famous Ethiopian sisters. Kipyegon timed 4:08.92, while Dibaba’s silver came in 4:10.27.

After her stunning world record and imperious victory at the World Championships, Dibaba has had a rather quiet year, with an injury hampering her preparations. Her coach Jama Aden of Spain was also arrested as part of an anti-doping operation, further troubling her.

After a slow start to the final, Dibaba made a game effort, hitting the front after the half-way stage. Kipyegon and Laura Muir of Britain tailed her while Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands also was in the picture.

Dibaba attempted her famous sprint in the last lap but could not shake off Kipyegon, who followed just behind. With 200 metres to go, the Kenyan made the decisive charge. She hit the front and kept pulling away as Dibaba began to fade. Kipyegon was winner by about ten metres while Dibaba strained hard to ward off American Jennifer Simpson for the silver.

“I really had to kick on the last lap, I was well prepared for the race, I feel proud to have won it for my country,” said Kipyegon.

Dibaba, meanwhile, admitted the arrest of her coach had bothered her. “It affected my training and I was also mentally affected by what happened. I also had a severe injury but still I competed successfully today,” she said.

Dibaba brushed aside doping concerns around her. “My dealings with my coach were only about training. The rumours have deeply affected me. I am crystal clean.

Investigations are going on, if my coach is clean, I will continue with him, otherwise, I will continue with a new coach,” she added.

As expected, Omar McLeod of Jamaica won the 110M hurdles in 13.05 seconds while Canada’s Derek Drouin prevented Qatari Mutaz Essa Barshim’s attempt to win the Olympic gold for the first time.

Drouin, the world champion, cleared 2.38 metres while Barshim’s all three attempts at the height failed after he had cleared 2.36 metres. The Qatari had won bronze last time at London.

“It is a title I am going to cherish, probably more than the Beijing World Championships,” said Drouin, who became the first Canadian to win this event since 1932.

“I have always wanted to be an Olympian and get here somehow, even if I didn’t know in which sport,” he added.

Klishina qualifies
Darya Klishina, the only Russian athlete cleared to compete in Rio, qualified for the long jump final with a 6.64M jump. Klishina had to win a battle in Court of Arbitration for Sport to finally make it here and she said it had been hard on her.

“It was a very tough last week. I was waiting for the CAS decision and could not practice. But now, I am trying to focus on my jumps and hope for a positive outcome,” said Klishina.
DH News Service

Results: Men: 110M hurdles: Omar McLeod (Jamaica) 13.05 seconds, 1; Orlando Ortega (Spain) 13.17, 2; Dimitri Bascou (France) 13.24, 3.

High jump: Derek Drouin (Canada) 2.38 metres, 1; Mutaz Essa Barshim (Qatar) 2.36, 2; Bohdan Bondarenko (Ukraine) 2.33, 3.

Women: 1500M: Faith Kipyegon (Kenya) 4:08.92, 1; Genzebe Dibaba (Ethiopia) 4:10.27, 2; Jennifer Simpson (United States) 4:10.53, 3.

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