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History as Kips wins more gold

LEGEND: Kipsiro crosses the finish line to complete a remarkable long distance double. AFP PHOTO

New Delhi

10,000m
Moses Kipsiro (UGA) 27:57.39
Daniel Lemashon (KEN) 27:57.57
Joseph Kiptoo (KEN) 27:58.58
Titus Mbishei (KEN) 28:03.10
Joseph Marco (TAZ) 28:46.83

Steeplechase final
Richard Mateelong (KEN) 8:16.39
Ezekiel Kemboi (KEN) 8:18.47
Brimin Kipruto (KEN) 8:19.65
Benjamin Kiplagat (UGA) 8:24.15

200m (men) semis
1. Leon Baptiste (ENG) 20.43
2. Malcom Christian (WAL) 20.53
3. Winston Spence (JAM) 20.54
9. Ali Ngaimoko (UGA) 21.61

800m (m) final
1. Boaz Kiplagat (KEN) 1:46.60
2. Richard Kiplagat (KEN) 1:46.95
3. Abraham Kiplagat (KEN) 1:47.37
4. Gareth Warburton (WAL) 1:48.59
5. Jimmy Adar (UGA) 1:49.57

200m (w) semis
1. Oyepitan Abiodun (ENG) 23.33
2. Williams Monique (NZL) 23.63
3. Wisil Toea (PNG) 23.68
6. Justine Bayigga (UGA) 24.39

800m (w) semis
1. Luka Tintu (IND) 2:02.73
2. Cherono Koech (KEN) 2:03.45
3. Dell Salome (PNG) 2:03.53
4. Annet Negesa (UGA) 2:03.53

Kenyans can no longer stop Moses Kipsiro. They simply can’t. “He is a great runner,” Peter Mathu, the Kenya head coach, conceded after helplessly watching the Ugandan runner seal his place in history by winning a double at the Commonwealth Games.

Kipsiro came from behind to defeat Kenyans Daniel Lemashon, Joseph Kiptoo and Titus Mbishei and a host of other top stars to snatch gold in the 10,000-meter final at Jawharlal Nehru Stadium. He had earlier on Wednesday edged another experienced Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge to win gold in the 5,000 metres.

Unlike in the 5,000m where he dominated from the start, Kipsiro trailed his Kenyan opponents for the bigger part of yesterday’s race. The three Kenyans had come with a strategy of breaking down the Ugandan early on but he resisted fiercely, surging forward with only two laps left.

Heading into the last 400 metres, Lemashon threatened to snatch gold from Kipsiro’s hands but the Ugandan’s last kick paid off in the home stretch. “I came here to win gold and nothing else. I was very confident and had studied the Kenyans’ strategy before the race,” with the Uganda flag wrapped around his waist, Kipsiro said. “It feels great to be a double champion.”

Another Ugandan Benjamin Kiplagat had earlier in the day failed to hold off Kenyan opposition in the steeplechase final, finishing fourth after a good start. That meant Uganda would return home with only one medal. But the saviour in Kipsiro would never let that happen. “I needed these medals more than anything else,” emphasized Kipsiro, who also won two medals (10,000m gold and 5,000 silver) at the 2006 Africa Senior Championships.

With his quick final sprint, Kipsiro was timed at 27:57.39, his second-fasted performance over the 25-lap race. Lemashon pulled from third to stretch Kipsiro to the limit but settled for silver in 27:57.57. Kiptoo took bronze in 27:58.58 with Kipsiro’s pal Mbishei finishing in fourth.

Uganda won two gold medals at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne courtesy of Boniface Kiprop (10,000m) and Dorcus Inzikuru (steeplechase) plus a bronze from boxer Martin Mubiru. That was obviously a better team performance but can’t compare with Kipsiro’s individual display. He is the star of Delhi 2010 in the Ugandan team of 67 (12 runners). “Of course I am happy but would have loved to see fellow teammates take home something,” Kipsiro commented on the general team display.

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