DAEGU, South Korea, August 30- The Kenyan quartet led by freshly minted World 10000m champion, Vivian Cheruiyot cruised to the Friday finals of the 5000m race here in Daegu on Tuesday morning and wasted no time in promising their Ethiopian rivals a beating.
Running almost on autopilot, Cheruiyot took 15:34.80 for fifth in the second heat as her march towards making history as the first Kenyan winner at the Worlds inched a step closer.
“I decided not to struggle hard in the heats; I wanted to be in position for and five and relax for the finals because you cannot get anything in heats. I’m happy I have qualified and now, I’m ready for the big one,” Cheruiyot, who took the 10,000m world title on Sunday, said.
Her attention was quickly turned to archrival, Ethiopia’s Meseret Defar, whom she dethroned from the women 5000m throne in Berlin promising she would hand her similar treatment come Friday.
“We are going to the same thing. Before we come on Friday, we with my three colleagues and plan on how to go like crazy because Defar will be sharper since this is a short race and we have to finish her before we finish,” she added.
Joining her in the race was her bridesmaid from Berlin, Sylvia Kibet, who stopped the timer at 15:20.08 to seal her passage in third in the first semi, was guarded on prospects of repeating her podium performance on Friday.
“I will not promise anything but the final will be tough since all the top runners in 5000m are there. I think the pace will be slow at the start and get faster as we head to finish in the final and I will be satisfied with whatever I get,” Kibet declared.
World 3000m junior champion, Mercy Cherono, who is enjoying a commendable introduction to senior running, will also contest for the medals after she raced 15:20.01 for second in the same heat.
“The race was good but it was very hot. Running here with seniors and clocking 15:20 is a good thing for me and I will give my all in the final,” the runner who won senior women 8km gold at the Africa Cross Country championships in South Africa this March expressed.
The fourth Kenyan in the women 5000m armoury, Linet Masai, who won bronze in her women 10,000m defence, came home, in 15:33.99 for third in the second heat to reward herself with another tilt for honours.
“Running 5000m is different but we will try to give the country another podium sweep. It will be my first time to do the final and I’m looking forward to it,” she stated.
– Mutwiri Mutuota is reporting for Capital Sport from Daegu, South Korea