, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 22 – Olympics double distance champion Mohammed Farah proved to be a hard nut to crack for Kenyans after retaining his Worlds 10000m title in Beijing to force World Cross title holder, Geoffrey Kamworor to silver as day one of the IAAF World Championships came to a close Saturday.
Paul Tanui who finished third at the last edition in Moscow, settled for bronze whilst World Cross silver medallist, Bedan Karoki finished fourth in a season best of 27:04.77.
Farah, who captured his record sixth consecutive global title, came from behind at the bell to overpower Kamworor to the finish line in 27:01.13 ahead of the world half marathon champion who returned 27:01.76.
Tanui, won bronze in 27:02.83 to round up Kenya’s only two medals in day one after the men’s marathon title evaded it in the opening final of the nine day track and field event.
In a brutal race where high profile athletes like Ethiopia’s former World Cross silver medallist, Imane Merga were forced to walk off the track, Farah held on to the first of his two titles, waiting for Saturday’s 5000m final where he hopes to make it seven straight major titles.
Behind him, the hard fighting Kamworor, who took the fight to the champion until the homestretch without finding the searing lap-speed to put the Briton in trouble, was rewarded with silver in what will be remembered among the great 25-lap contests.
In a testament of the imperious team running the Kenyan trio displayed at the Bird’s Nest, Tanui repeated his position from Moscow two years ago with Karoki finishing fourth ahead of Olympics silver medallist and Farah’s training partner, Galen Rupp (27:08.91).
The first half of the enthralling contest was covered in 13:40 with the closing 5000m done in 13:21 before Farah uncorked a blistering 55 second final lap to complete half of his mission as the humidity and heat in the Chinese capital played havoc with the field.
Kenya’s long wait to reclaim the men’s 10000m continues after Charles Kamathi won in 2001 ahead of Ethiopian legend Haile Gebrselassie who was forced to bronze.
-Sprinters through to semis-
Kenyan sprinters trio of African bronze medallist Nicholas Bett, Boniface Mucheru and Harun Koech are through to Sunday’s men 400m Hurdles semi-final in the ongoing Beijing World Championships.
Bett, who also holds the African 4X400m relay bronze title, opened the day one afternoon track programme with a victory after powering away off the last hurdle to win in 48.37 in Heat 1, ahead of Russian Timofey Chalyy who ran his season best of 49.05.
Jeffery Gibson from Bahrain (49.09) and Mozambique’s Kurt Couto (49.15 SB) closed the automatic slots.
In the second Heat, 2012, Porto Novo African third finisher, Mucheru not only emulated Bett by crossing the line first but also set a new personal best of 48.91 ahead of American Michael Tinsley (48.91) and Javier Culson (49.02) and South African L.J. van Zyl (49.12).
Koech was the last Kenyan to qualify from Heat 5 as the fastest losers after finishing fifth in his life time best of 49.38 in the second fastest race that was won by Russian Denis Kudryavtsev (48.51).