<
>

Kenyans dominate opening day at worlds

8/27/2011

Vivian Cheruiyot led a Kenyan sweep in the 10,000 meters at the world championships Saturday, beating Sally Kipyego and defending champion Linet Masai.

Cheruiyot finished in 30 minutes, 48.98 seconds, holding an edge of 1.06 seconds over Kipyego. Cheruiyot will be seeking a long-distance double as she also is the defending champion in the 5,000.

"We were inspired by the marathon girls and we wanted to achieve the same," Cheruiyot said.

The Kenyans were perfect twice on the opening day of the championships, sweeping the women's marathon in addition to the 10,000. They finished the day six-for-six in medals. No nation has earned a two-event sweep on opening day since the championships started 28 years ago.

Edna Kiplagat crashed on the street late in the marathon when she tangled up with teammate Sharon Cherop at one of the last water stations and suddenly was on all fours.

"I was a little shocked," Kiplagat said. "What was in my mind was I wasn't sure if I was going to pick up the pace again."

Also shocked, Cherop helped pick up her veteran teammate and off they went again as a trio heading through the 80-degree morning heat and humidity of inland South Korea.

Kiplagat won in a slow 2:28:43 to claim the first gold medal of the competition.

Hard-pressed to equal their third-place finish in the medals table from two years ago, they gave Kenya the perfect start to the competition. Kiplagat, a 31-year-old mother of two, lead Priscah Jeptoo and Cherop to the line.

The three embraced and gingerly walked away, arms interlocking to celebrate the victory. No nation had ever clinched such a triple since the championships started 28 years ago.

"I hope this result will give motivation to our Kenyan team members," Jeptoo said.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.