Ethiopian Barega wins the first gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics


Tokyo (AP) — Selemon Barega won the first athletics gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday and won the 10,000-meter title in Ethiopia after Mo Farah ruled for nearly a decade.

Barega cleared on the final lap, winning in 27 minutes 43.22 seconds and upsetting Ugandan world champion and world record holder Joshua Cheptegay, who won the silver medal at 27: 43.63. Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda was third in bronze.

Barega’s last lap burst was good enough as it came out about 300 meters ahead and blocked the late charge by the two Ugandans, who were expected to be 1-2 in the first track final of the Tokyo Olympics.

For a moment it seemed that Cheptegay might beat Barega home straight, but the Ethiopians bowed down and dug as Cheptegay’s challenge diminished.

Cheptegay broke the world record in the last 10,000-meter major race in October, but has since gambled by not competing in distant international races.

Barega hadn’t won a major title at 10,000 by Friday, but has won a silver medal at the World Championships at 5,000. His first 10,000 gold was big.

It was also a fateful change for 21-year-old Barega, who had previously said he could abandon track events in favor of road running as 5,000 and 10,000 races were removed from the Diamond League after the Olympics. circuit.

Farah, who has won gold medals in the last two Olympics, is not running in Tokyo because he was unable to form a British team.

The last Ethiopian to win 10,000 at the Olympics was Kenenisa Bekele, who won consecutive titles in 2004 and 2008. Prior to him, yet another great Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie won in 1996 and 2000, giving Ethiopia four consecutive titles. Farah invaded.

The Olympic 10,000 has been a special place for East African countries since Miltifter won his first victory in Ethiopia in 1980.

Barega won the almost empty Olympic Stadium, but other Ethiopian athletes and team officials shouted out loud applause from a seat near the finish line when he first returned home.

10,000 boys was the only medal event on the first day of athletics.


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