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Rio 2016: Kenya Falls but the Rest of Africa Looks to Dethrone Mo Farah

For the first time in Olympic history, there will be no Kenyan in the 5000 meters final at the Rio Olympics. Kenya’s possibility of winning a medal came to a halt on Wednesday morning after the trio – Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku, Charles Yosei Muneria, and Isaiah Kiplangat Koech, finished outside the qualifying mark, giving Kenya no hope of at least winning a medal in the men 5000 meters finals.

Ndiku (silver medallist at the Beijing World Championships) and Kiplangat (bronze medallist at the Moscow 2013 World Championships) were Kenya’s best bet in the 5000 meters race.

Ndiku whose prospective lead was disrupted by a fall in the pack with just half a lap to go lost grip of his position allowing Ethiopia’s Hagos Gebrhiwet to take advantage and display with intense conviction, a fine sprint to the finish line. Gebrhiwet qualified in the first place with 13:24:65, ahead of Bahrain’s Albert Rop, Great Britain’s Mohammed Farah, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei and USA’s Bernard Lagat, respectively.

Ndiku and Muneria who ran in heat 1 finished 6th in 13:26:63 and 12th in 13:30:95 respectively, while their counterpart Koech finished 12th in 13:25:15 in heat 2.

Great Britain’s Farah will look to claim a historical ‘double-double’ in search for a second gold medal after winning the 10,000 meters at the Rio Olympics. With many expecting the revered runner who has 5,000 meters global titles, to win again, Farah has to look out for Ethiopia’s Hagos Gebrhiwet who beat him in heat 1.

Edris Muktar and Dejen Gebremeskel who finished second and third respectively, in heat 2 are Ethiopia’s other hopefuls. The Ethiopians will have to work collectively and strategically to hold off the world champion from finishing ahead of them in the final on Saturday.

South Africa’s Elroy Gelant, Eritrea’s Abrar Osman Adem, and Uganda’s Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei add to the list of Africa’s hopeful medal winners at the Rio Olympics.

Gelant and Osman finished in 7th and 8th position, outside the top five automatic qualification mark in heat two but eventually, advanced to the finals after recording faster times. Cheptegei one of three Ugandans to progress to a final and will look to earn the first medal for his country.


Featured Photo: Mohammed Farah of Great Britain (left) stumbles as Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku of Kenya looks on, during the men’s 5000m heat (Photo: Getty Images/Cameron Spencer)

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