In the first final at the 13th IAAF World Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Daegu on Saturday morning, the Kenyan women made history in the marathon as they finished 1-2-3 with Edna Kiplagat winning the gold medal in 2 hours, 28 minutes, 43 seconds, followed by countrywomen, Priscah Jeptoo (2:29:00) and Sharon Cherop (2:29:14).
Kenya, thus, became the first country to sweep the medals in the marathon, men or women, at the World Championships or the Olympics. In fact, it is the first time any nation finished first and second in the women’s WC marathon.
With temperatures in the high 70s at the start and the humidity at 72 percent, the women covered the classic 26.2 mile race in 1:16:46 first half and a fast 1:11:57 for the second half, the biggest negative split – meaning first half vs. second half had largest time difference – in the history of the World Championships.
For Team USA, Tera Moody (Colorado Springs, Colo.) ran her second fastest marathon to finish 17th in 2:32:04 as first American.
Women’s Marathon – August 27
The marathon saw the field go out in a large front pack, with 27 women running within seconds of each other through 25 kilometers. The women ran through a three-loop course through downtown Daegu. Moody, 30, ran in the mix with the leaders, even spending time at the front of the pack. The group went through 5K in 18:34, 10K in 36:26, 15K in 54:11, 20K in 1:12:39 and 25K in 1:30:35.
By 30K the pack thinned to 19 runners, but Moody stayed with the pack as they split in 1:48:35. However, the leaders made a break for it over the next five kilometers and the pack disintegrated with only four women taking the lead. By 35K, Moody was 1:11 behind the leaders and split 2:06:30. By the 40K mark, eventual world champion Kiplagat, 31, pulled away from the rest of the field and maintained her lead to the tape in 2:28:43.
In the Marathon World Cup competition, Kenya, no surprise, won the team title with China second and Ethiopia third, while Team USA took sixth place.
Women’s 10,000m – August 27
In Daegu Stadium on Saturday night, the Kenyan women were again dominant as they swept the podium with the first 1-2-3-4 10,000m finish in the history of the World Championships. There have been 1-2-3 sweeps by Ethiopia on two occasions – 2001 and 2005 – but never 1-4, either men or women. Vivian Cheruiyot, 27, led the Kenyan contingent to the historic sweep in 30:48.98, a personal record, and all four Kenyan women finished under 31 minutes – also Sally Kipyego (30:50.04), defending champion Linet Masai (30:53.59) and Priscah Cherono (30:56.43, PR).
2008 Olympic bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan (Portland, Ore.) led the women’s 10,000m for the first two miles with Jen Rhines (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) trailing in the second position. However, the American duo was unable to hold their positions after two miles into the race and began to fall further back in the pack.
Flanagan, 30, finished seventh in 31:25.57, improving her placing from the 2009 World Championships by seven places, and dropped nearly seven seconds from her time as well. Three-time Olympian Rhines finished 9th in 31:47.59, while Kara Goucher (Portland, Ore.), who is coming back from a hip injury, finished 13th (32:29.58).
Men’s 10,000m – August 28
In Daegu Stadium on Sunday night, Galen Rupp (Portland, Ore.) put himself in good position throughout the 25-lap race. The three-time U.S. champion was mid-pack early on, with teammates Matt Tegenkamp (Portland, Ore.) and Scott Bauhs (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) near the back.
A quickening pace left a lead pack of eight men with eight laps to go. Rupp, 25, ran relaxed near the back of that pack and moved to fifth with seven laps left. Also in the pack were Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea, Imane Merga, Ibrahim Jeilan and Sileshi Sihine of Ethiopia, favorite Mo Farah of Great Britain and Martin Mathathi and Peter Kirui of Kenya. Four-time 10,000m world champion Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia did not finish (dropping out at 6K).
When the pack started to move with 600m left, Rupp could not respond. Farah took the lead and began his kick with 400m left, but Jeilan, just 22, caught him in the final strides for the upset gold medal in 27:13.81. Farah was runner-up in 27:14.07 and Merga was the bronze medalist in 27:19.14. Rupp finished in a season-best time of 27:26.84 for seventh, improving by one place on his finish at the 2009 World Championships. Tegenkamp was 10th in 28:41.62 and Bauhs 14th in 29:03.92.
13th IAAF World Track & Field Championships
Daegu, KOR, Sat-Sun, Aug 27-Aug 28, 2011
Saturday, August 27
1) Edna Kiplagat (KEN), 2:28:43, $60,000
2) Priscah Jeptoo (KEN), 2:29:00, $30,000
3) Sharon Cherop (KEN), 2:29:14, $20,000
4) Bezunesh Bekele (ETH), 2:29:21, $15,000
5) Yukiko Akaba (JPN), 2:29:35, $10,000
6) Xiaolin Zhu (CHN), 2:29:58, $6000
7) Isabellah Andersson (SWE), 2:30:13, $5000
8) Jiali Wang (CHN), 2:30:25, $4000
9) Marisa Barros (POR) 2:30:29
10) Remi Nakazato (JPN), 2:30:52
17) Tera Moody (USA), 2:32:04
30) Kathy Newberry (USA), 2:37:28
32) Alisa McKaig (USA), 2:38:23
38) Colleen De Reuck (USA), 2:44:35
40) Zoila Gómez (USA), 2:46:44