Women show the way as Kenya land a perfect six on opening day

A 'shocked' Kiplagat, mother of two, recovers after falling to lead her nation's haul of all the medals up for grabs.
Edna Kiplagat reacts after winning the women's marathon in Daegu, South Korea.
Edna Kiplagat reacts after winning the women's marathon in Daegu, South Korea.

DAEGU, South Korea // Kenya had an unprecedented sweep in the women's marathon and 10,000 metres at the world championships yesterday to finish the opening day a perfect six-for-six in medals.

No nation has captured a triple since the championships started 28 years ago. Edna Kiplagat crashed on the street late in the marathon only to recover, and lead her nation to a win in 2 hours, 28 minutes and 43 seconds to claim the first gold medal of the competition.

It was a remarkable win for Kiplagat, a 31-year-old mother of two, who tangled up with Sharon Cherop at one of the last water stations, and suddenly was on all fours.

Cherop helped pick up her veteran teammate, and off they went again heading through the 80°F morning heat and humidity of inland South Korea. "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."

Priscah Jeptoo was second and Cherop third.

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

Vivian Cheruiyot led her Kenyan countrywomen in the 10,000m. All other challengers, including their Ethiopian rivals, failed to keep pace as Cheruiyot beat Sally Kipyego and defending champion Linet Masai. Cheruiyot won in 30:48.98, holding an edge of 1.06 seconds over Kipyego.

Cheruiyot will be seeking a long-distance double as she is also the defending champion in the 5,000. Kenya's perfect start contrasted with the fortunes of Christine Ohuruogu, the Olympic 400m champion.

The British runner, the 2007 world champion, was disqualified for a false start in her opening heat and stood in stunned silence for more than a minute after she was given a red card.

"I knew it was me straight away. I can't believe it," Ohuruogu said.

"I just wanted to get a good start as I knew it was going to be a fast round. Of all the people it could have happened to it had to be me. A false start in a 400m... It's very ironic.

"I worked really hard to turn the last three weeks around.

"Right now I'm just kind of upset for my coach [Lloyd Cowan], who worked really hard to get me in shape. It's been a hard year for both of us, but he worked really hard to keep me motivated.

"I'm broken, you can all see I am broken. I have nothing else to say."

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Published: August 28, 2011 04:00 AM


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