NEW DELHI, Oct 6 – The Kenyan contingent was a disappointed lot after Moses Kipsiro upset the form book to win the men’s 5000 metres race at the Commonwealth games on Wednesday.World leader Eliud Kipchoge, Mark Kiptoo and Mark Kiptoo had been heavily tipped to win but they had not reckoned with the Ugandan’s dogged determination with Kenya suffering a first loss in this distance at the games since 1994.
Kipsiro was always in contention throughout the race staying near the front. Kiptoo briefly tried to push the tempo up a notch but Kipsiro would not budge. Then came the final lap during which Kipchoge and Kipsiro went toe to toe.
The Kenyan tried to pass Kipsiro with 300 metres to go but the Ugandan would have none of it. They were shoulder to shoulder in the final straight but Kipsiro found that extra gear to cross the finish line first.
Behind them, Kiptoo finished strongly to take bronze-his second in two months after placing third at the Africa championships in August.
“We had hoped for gold but unfortunately it slipped to our neighbour and friend and I hope in the near future we ill rectify it. Our plan was to up the pace and ensure we had all three medals but we realised that Kipsiro was in good shape and tried to adjust accordingly but it did not work out,” said bronze medalist Kiptoo.
“As a sportsman you have to accept the outcome and say that am happy to win silver. I tried to go with 300 metres to go but it was not possible, I tried to relax and try again with 50 metres to go but it was not possible. There will always be winners and losers and today, this was the best we achieved,” said silver medallist Kipchoge.
For Kipsiro, it was a dream come true, “I wanted it so badly that even God knew that I wanted to win. I stayed infront of the race because I wanted to stay in control and also I was afraid of being spiked.”
“In the final lap, I knew Eliud would try to pass me first at 300metres and then with 100 metres to go so I conserved a bit of energy for that final push.”
“I familiar with the Kenyan athletes because we compete a lot and so I know what their strengths are, and what weaknesses are and I used that today,” he quipped.