Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Women's 3000m Final

Mercy Cherono of Kenya wins the women's 3000m in Moncton  (Getty Images)

Mercy Cherono of Kenya wins the women's 3000m in Moncton (Getty Images)

Mercy Cherono won her second consecutive World Junior title at 3000m tonight in Moncton, running a World leading junior time of 8:55.07 to take a sprint finish over Emebet Anteneh of Ethiopia (8:55.24) and Layes Abdullayeva of Azerbaijan (8:55.33).

Cherono and her team-mate Purity Rionoripo controlled the race throughout, moving to the front early and allowing the pace to languish in the first kilometre. That split was reached in 3:08.81, pace for a 9:26 finish, but then the pace began to pick up.

Challengers, including Tejitu Daba of Bahrain and Abdullayeva, moved to the front to force the pace, and with three and a half laps remaining Cherono stepped on the gas and began to pull away.

The pack split in two at that point, the lead group of six including the two Kenyans, two Ethiopians, Abdullayeva and Daba. Jennifer Wenth of Austria and Jordan Hasay of the USA attempted to cover the move, but the 67-second lap was more than either was ready for and the pair was left adrift.

Cherono didn't maintain her brisk surge, and the group of six remained together through the bell. Anteneh moved to take the lead on the backstretch, but Cherono covered that move and though the pack was now in full flight there was no separation.

Finally, on the homestretch, Cherono began to get daylight between herself and the pursuit, which she managed to maintain even though Anteneh and Abdullayeva appeared to be closing at the end.

The race was run as a part of the opening ceremonies on Monday evening, and was enjoyed by a sell-out crowd in the 10,000-seat stadium. A cloudy evening did not give way to light rain until the race was completed.

Cherono is the first woman to repeat as World Junior champion in the 3000m.

Parker Morse for the IAAF