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Posted: August 24, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

(RWire) Athletics: Kirui Shatters World Championship Record in Men's Marathon

Cheruiyot captures women's 5000m crown; Rhines 9th

By Parker Morse, Running USA wire

BERLIN - (August 22, 2009) - Abel Kirui and Vivian Cheruiyot won World Championship distance titles for Kenya on the eighth day of competition in the German capital on Saturday.

Kirui, 27, shattered the world championship record by more than 90 seconds in winning the men's marathon, finishing in 2 hours, 6 minutes, 54 seconds over the four-lap criterium course starting and ending at the Brandenburg Gate. The course toured many of Berlin's landmarks, including the Tiergarten Park, the Victory Column, and completed each lap up the Unter Den Linden, the shaded avenue which ends at the Brandenburger Tor.

The early pace appeared slow, but wasn't, as a leading pack of Ethiopians and Kenyans gradually ratcheted the speed of the 5K splits down and thinned out any pretenders. The halfway split was a swift 1:03:03. By 25K, there were only five athletes in the pack, three of them Kenyan: Kirui, Boston multiple champion Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, Emmanuel Mutai, Ethiopian Deriba Merga and Rwandan Dieudonne Disi. Disi, over his head, failed to finish the third lap, and it fell to the Kenyans to decide, how would they get rid of this Ethiopian?

The answer, unfortunately for Cheruiyot, was to continue increasing the pace. Cheruiyot began slipping back, ultimately to fifth, while Kirui and Mutai continued pressing to drop Merga.

When Merga fell away, he melted down, and it was his countryman and Beijing bronze medalist Tsegay Kebede who came up for third. Kirui dropped Mutai finally as the course passed around the East German TV tower at the Alexanderplatz, and came in for his record (previous record 2:08:31 by Jaouad Gharib of Morocco at 2003 Paris). Mutai was second in 2:07:48, and Kebede took bronze with his 2:08:35 clocking.

Kirui and Mutai led Kenya to a dominant first place in the team World Cup, with Cheruiyot accumulating a time of 6:25:28, almost seven minutes ahead of the runner-up Ethiopians. Japan took third, just ahead of Portugal.

The top American finisher was 2004 Olympian Dan Browne, 24th in 2:16:49. Team USA was 13th out of the 15 teams who scored in the World Cup.

Later that day, Vivian Cheruiyot, 25, became the first female Kenyan 5000m champion at the World Championships since 1997 and their first medalist since 1999 as she upset defending champion Meseret Defar at the Olympiastadion.

Cheruiyot's race was not unlike Kirui's, with the race getting progressively faster. Yurika Nakamura set the early pace (3:06.02 for the first kilometer), but it was Cheruiyot who pushed them to the 3000m (9:15.05) and 4000m (12:15.79).

The last two kilometers were an all-African affair, like the marathon, with the Ethiopians and Kenyans dueling for the medals. Normally Defar would be expected to sail away from this race in the closing 200 meters, but the Kenyans have learned this and developed their speed.

Cheruiyot and her teammate Sylvia Kibet matched Defar stride-for-stride, and when Cheruiyot moved ahead on the homestretch, Defar collapsed. Kibet also squeaked by, and as Cheruiyot celebrated her 14:57.97 victory she was joined by Kibet's silver in 14:58.33 as Defar, 5th in the 10,000m last weekend, managed the bronze in 14:58.41.

Team USA's Jen Rhines, a three-time Olympian, found herself in the front of the rest when the African teams separated at 3000 meters, and eventually finished 9th in 15:11.63.

IAAF Track & Field World Championships
Berlin, GER, Saturday, August 22, 2009

1) Abel Kirui (KEN), 2:06:54*, Gold
2) Emmanuel Mutai (KEN), 2:07:48, Silver
3) Tsegay Kebede (ETH), 2:08:35, Bronze
4) Yemane Tsegay (ETH), 2:08:42
5) Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot (KEN), 2:10:46
6) Atsushi Sato (JPN), 2:12:05
7) Adil Ennani (MAR), 2:12:12
8) José Martínez (ESP), 2:14:04
9) José Moreira (POR), 2:14:05
10) Luís Feiteira (POR), 2:14:06
24) Dan Browne (USA), 2:16:49
36) Matt Gabrielson (USA), 2:18:41
63) Nate Jenkins (USA), 2:32:16
Justin Young (USA), DNF
Edwardo Torres (USA), DNS
*World Championship record (previous, 2:08:31, Jaouad Gharib (MAR), 2003 Paris)

World Cup Team Competition
1) Kenya, 6:25:28 
2) Ethiopia, 6:32:26
3) Japan, 6:41:05
13) USA, 7:07:46
15 scoring teams (top 3 by total time)

WOMEN'S 5000 Meters
1) Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN), 14:57.97, Gold
2) Sylvia Kibet (KEN), 14:58.33, Silver
3) Meseret Defar (ETH), 14:58.41, Bronze
4) Sentayehu Ejigu (ETH), 15:03.38
5) Meselech Melkamu (ETH), 15:03.72
6) Iness Chenonge (KEN), 15:06.06
7) Silvia Weissteiner (ITA), 15:09.74
8) Genzebe Dibaba (ETH), 15:11.12
9) Jen Rhines (USA), 15:11.63
10) Sara Moreira (POR) 15:12.22

WC results, photos, and more at:

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