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Cheruiyot guns for double, Bolt returns

DAEGU, South Korea, September 2 – Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot will be gunning for a double when she takes to the track on day seven of the World Athletics Championships on Friday.

Usain Bolt will also bid to get his attempt to defend his world 200m crown off to a safe start in heats and the semi-final after his sensational disqualification from the 100m final following a false start.

Cheruiyot snagged gold in the women’s 10,000m on the opening day of the Daegu worlds on Saturday thanks to a fine tactical display from her three team-mates, leading to a 1-2-3-4 sweep.

Now she plans to defend her world 5000m crown, also with the help of a strong trio of fellow runners, Mercy Cherono, Sylvia Kibet and Linet Masai.

“I was just relaxing, holding my position to qualify for the final,” Cheruiyot said after heats for the 5000m.

Masai, who claimed bronze in the 10,000m to add to her gold from the 2009 worlds in Berlin, added: “We are ready for a difficult final and will prepare special tactics for the final to win as many medals as possible.”

Fastest in qualifying was the Kenyans’ archrival Meseret Defar of Ethiopia, who came to Daegu seeking a double but failed to finish the 10,000m.

“I am happy to make the final after the disappointment of the 10,000m. I congratulated the Kenyans on their 1-2-3-4,” Defar said.

“Today I wanted to test my sprinting speed. We three Ethiopians will do our best.”

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The evening could also have been about Allyson Felix’s bid for a 200-400m double, but the 25-year-old American could only claim silver in the 400m behind Botswana’s Amantle Montsho.

Felix will go into the 200m, however, as clear favourite, having won the three previous world golds on offer in the event.

The evening’s session also sees finals in the women’s javelin, as well as the men’s shot put, long jump and 4x400m relay.

Thursday’s qualifiers notwithstanding, defending women’s 800m champion Caster Semenya should also be in action in the semi-finals of the two-lap event.

The South African sprinted to the world 800m crown two years ago but quickly found herself entangled in a maelstrom of seedy allegations that saw her cast into limbo because of doubts over her true gender.

She returns to action in Daegu cleared to run by the sport’s world governing body, the IAAF, and largely accepted by her peers.

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