Kipketer crowned Commonwealth 5000m king
Sammy Kipketer stole the menís 5000m title in a record-breaking time with the race climaxing in a stunning sprint finish.
From the off, it was a battle of the three Kenyans; Benjamin Limo (13:13.57), Willy Kiptoo Kirui (13:18.32), and Kipketer (13:13.51), who made their intentions clear to the rest of the field - breaking clean away within the first one thousand metres.
The pack that followed contained a host of Brits determined to savour the moment of running in the City of Manchester Stadium atmosphere.
The Manchester rain provided the perfect conditions for 5000m running, as the Kenyans controlled the first two kilometres at near pedestrian pace.
Australian Craig Mottram (13:25.21) looked the only athlete likely to challenge the Kenyan supremacy at the midway point but in the end could only add a sixth place finish to his fifth in the World Cross Country Championships.
20-year-old Kipketer made up for the disappointment of failing to make the Olympics in 2000. His stunning display will surely bring him to the fore amongst the plethora of quality Kenyans distance runners.
With 200m remaining the race was still open, but the sprint finish that ensued was too much for Kirui, as Kipketer and Limo provided the sort of sprinting normally allied to specialist short distance runners.
Kipketer said: ďI have been training hard; the pace was comfortable for me. Iím delighted because I havenít won a major gold on the track before.Ē
Limo who had missed out on gold by just seven hundredths of a second said: ďAfter I fell, I had to put in a lot of effort to catch up with the others, and this used up a lot of energy. Thatís why I felt exhausted. And wasnít able to win in the sprint.Ē
Bronze medalist Kirui said: ďI enjoyed the race. The pace was very high indeed. Weíre very happy with the one-two-three. I set out to run my own race. Not to follow anybody in particular. And Iím happy with bronze.Ē
The trailing pack of English athletes provided itís own entertainment with John Mayock (13:19.43) and Samuel Haughian (13:19.45) each grabbing personal bests.
There were a number of other season and personal bests, but the night belonged to Kipketer - king of the Kenyans.