Tokyo Olympics 2020: Ethiopia's Selemon Barega kicks hard to win 10,000m gold

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·13 min read
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athletics live tokyo olympics 2020 mens 10000m final World record holder - REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel
athletics live tokyo olympics 2020 mens 10000m final World record holder - REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel

12:17 PM

Top 10 finishers in 10,000m final

  1. Selemon Barega (Eth) 27mins 43.22secs

  2. Joshua Cheptegei (Uga) 27:43.63

  3. Jacob Kiplimo (Uga) 27:43.88

  4. Berihu Aregawi (Eth) 27:46.16

  5. Grant Fisher (USA) 27:46.39

  6. Mohammed Ahmed (Can) 27:47.76

  7. Rodgers Kwemoi (Ken) 27:50.06

  8. Yomif Kejelcha (Eth) 27:52.03

  9. Rhonex Kipruto (Ken) 27:52.78

  10. Morhad Amdouni (Fra) 27:53.58

12:09 PM

GB's Marc Scott

Finished in 14th with a time of 28.09.23. Sam Aitken had to pull up and couldn't finish.

12:02 PM

Last lap of 53.94

The big finish from the Ethiopian.

12:02 PM

Men's 10,000m result

  1. Selemon BAREGA ETH 27.43.22

  2. Joshua CHEPTEGEI UGA 27.43.63

  3. Jacob Kiplimo UGA 27.43.88

12:01 PM

Barega wins gold

From Cheptegei and Kiplimo.

Selemon Barega times it perfectly.

12:00 PM

Ahmed leads with a lap to go from Barega at the bell

Barega strikes for home. Seven in the pack.

11:59 AM

Two laps left

Cheptegei leads from Canada's Mohamed Ahmed.

11:57 AM

The pace is slowing as they try to make someone kick early

Coming up to 9,000m it's Kenya's Rodger's Kwemoi moves into the lead. Any one of 12 runners could win with 800m to go.

11:56 AM

Kipruto takes over from Cheptegei again

With 2,000m to go. Kejelcha has conserved himself and is poised in fifth. Italy's Yemane Crippa is travelling really well, too.

11:52 AM

Cheptegei is 5m back in second

And then hits the front himself with 3,000m to go. Kiplimo is well placed in third.

11:51 AM

Kenya's Kipruto hits the front

Kissa also pulls up with 3,500m to go.

11:49 AM

Kenya in two and three

Weldon Langat slips ahead of Kipruto but Kissa leads by a nose at halfway.

Sam Atkin has pulled up with a calf injury.

It's a slow race, won't be bothering world or Bekele's Olympic record.

11:47 AM

The pack has reeled both breakaways in

Scott in 11th and Atkin 23rd after 4,500m.

11:46 AM

Kissa still leads

Lapping at 69sec but his lead is down to a second over Rhonex Kipruto with WR holder Joshua Cheptegei in in third a further three seconds and 10m back

11:43 AM

Kissa on a solo break

Kissa stormed off on a solo break -  REUTERS/Phil Noble
Kissa stormed off on a solo break - REUTERS/Phil Noble

11:40 AM

Selemon Barega

Of Ethiopia is beginning to reel Kissa in affter 2.5k, shortening his lead to 30m. Rhonex Kipruto, a late replacement who arrived in Tokyo on Wednesday, is in third and then a gap of another 25m to the pack.

11:38 AM

Kissa extends his lead to about 100m

But is earning the ire of the Eurosport commentary team for madcap tactics because no one has gone with him, confident he'll blow up over the 20 laps.

His lead after 2k is nine seconds.

11:35 AM

Kissa through the first kilometre

75m and seven seconds ahead of Kiplimo with 2.44.

11:34 AM

Off they go in the 10,000m final

The third Uganda team-member Stephen Kissa storms off into the lead, acting as pace-maker for his colleagues or making a solo dash? He leads by 40m after a lap and a half.

11:31 AM

USA disqualification announcement

Lynna Irby had positioned herself outside the zone at the first exchange to take the baton from Elija Godwin.

11:29 AM

Out come the athletes for the first medal race on the track of the Tokyo Olympics

Twenty-five runners in the final, coming up to the start line. All the money is flowing in Jacob Kiplimo's direction.

11:27 AM

Dominican Republic also DQd from mixed relay final

Meaning the teams competing over a mile for gold will be:


11:25 AM

Valerie Adams did make the shot put final

But no place for GB's Sophie McKinna whose best of 17.81, was 99cm short of the benchmark.

Sophie McKinna - Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Sophie McKinna - Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

11:19 AM

GB's time is good enough to qualify for the 4x400m final

As long as they're not booted out like the Americans.

11:18 AM

GB have to wait to see of they're a fastest loser

  1. Poland

  2. Netherlands

  3. Jamaica

  4. GB

11:17 AM

Poland streak to victory

Lee Thompson can't hold off Jamaica for third.

11:17 AM

At last baton change

Poland, Netherlands, GB and Jamaica in that order. Only three automatic spots.

11:16 AM

Poland back in front

Ahead of the Dutch and GB.

11:16 AM

Poland lead after the first leg

GB flagged a bit at the end but Zoe Clark is in second after they break lanes at 500m.

Now the Dutch lead from GB.

11:15 AM

Still no word on why USA were DQ

Mixed relays - REUTERS/Phil Noble
Mixed relays - REUTERS/Phil Noble

11:13 AM

GB in lane six

Chalmers, Clark, Diamond and Thompson in that order, MWWM.

11:12 AM

GB go in second heat of mixed relay

Ukraine easily have the season's best time in heat two but Jamaica will be formidable.

It has stopped raining but the inner field is wet.

11:10 AM


USA have been disqualified from the mixed relays. The world record holders are out. Possible lane infraction.

11:08 AM

Nigeria fans on social media

Are railing against the tactics of their relay coach with unprintable contempt.

11:05 AM

Or perhaps not

Spoke too soon. USA burns off Nigeria. Bryce Deadman wins at a canter.

USA, Dominican Republic and Belgium qualify for the final. Ireland in fourth will have to wait to see if they're one of the two fastest non-automatic qualifiers.

11:04 AM

USA make their move

Now neck and neck with the USA but Nigeria have a man on third leg and he storms away by 40m. Extraordinary! They've mugged everyone with superior tactics.

11:02 AM

All seven lead off with a man

Ireland lead after the first leg.

10:59 AM

An Olympic first

Time for the debut of the mixed 4x400m relay. GB go in the second of two heats. You can send out your two men and two women in any order you like.

10:56 AM

The admirable Eilish McColgan

Is very stoical, accepting that she is regularly clipped because of her height and the length of her legs, explaining that she is often clipped by the hands of those behind her. 'That's racing,' she says.

And will now focus on the 10k, her best distance, saying her lesson is that she needs to string it out further and not get stuck behind 'certain athletes'.

10:53 AM

In shot put qualification

Yang Gao and Sweden's Fanny Roos have both made 18.80m plus as have Gao's China team-mate Lijiao Gong and Portugal's Auriol Dongma.

GB's Sophie McKinna sis till a metre short, her best so far 17.81m. Valerie Adams with 18.75m has less to find with her next efforts.

10:50 AM

Francine Niyonsaba

Has been disqualified from the 5,000m final, which will be held on Monday.

10:49 AM

More triple jump qualifiers for the final

Ana Peleteiro of Spain, Patricia Mamona of Portugal, Dominica's Thea Lafond amd Cuba's Liadagmis Povea join Ricketts and Rojas in Sunday's final.

10:46 AM

Five qualifiers from heat two

  1. Gudaf Tesgay ETH 14.55.74

  2. Helen Obiri KEN 14.55.77

  3. Nadia Battocletti ITA 14.55.83

  4. Elise Francine Niyonsaba BDI 14.56.00

  5. Cranny USA 14.56.14

Markovic came in 10th. McColgan in 11th, neither quick enough to make the final.

How unfortunate for McColgan.

10:43 AM

McColgan is reverse Deckered

The GB athlete's chances scuppered by an American who spiked her achilles.

10:42 AM

McColgan trips

After being clipped from behind by Schneider of USA. And drops back after being third with 800m to go. She looks injured but gamely carries on.

10:38 AM

Helen Obiri leads at 3k

McColgan staying the pace in fifth, two-tenths of a second behind. Markovoc is up to 14th from 18th.

10:37 AM

McColgan still well-placed

In third place after 2k, four-tenths of a second behind Burundi's Francine Niyonsaba.

10:32 AM

Australia's Jenny Blundell leads after 1,000m

It's even slower than heat one and McColgan is well-placed in fourth, Markovic two off the back, a second off McColgan's pace.

10:30 AM

Sifan Hassan celebrates like a champ

Winning the heat clearly meant something for Sifan Hassan:

Sifan Hassan - Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Sifan Hassan - Christian Petersen/Getty Images

10:28 AM

In the second heat of the women's 5,000m

Eilish McColgan and Amy-Eloise Markovic go for GB. First five qualify automatically plus the next fastest five from the heats.

Eilish McColgan's mother, Liz, won the 10k at the Tokyo World Championships in 1991, a victory that made her BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

10:25 AM

Yulimar Rojas

Has also qualified with ease for the triple jump final with 14.77m.

Venezuela's Yulimar Rojas competes in the Women's Triple Jump during the IAAF Diamond Leagu - CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU/AFP
Venezuela's Yulimar Rojas competes in the Women's Triple Jump during the IAAF Diamond Leagu - CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU/AFP

10:19 AM

The five automatic qualifiers are

  1. Sifan Hassan NED 14.47.89

  2. Agnes Tirop KEN 14.48.01

  3. Senbere Tifori ETH 14.48.52

  4. Ejgayehu Taye ETH 14.48.52

  5. Lilian Rengeruk KEN 14.50.36

Judd finished in 13th with 15.09.47.

10:16 AM

Here comes Hassan with 200m to go

And storms to victory in 14.47.89.

10:15 AM

Hironaka still leads after 4,000m

This is very slow. Hassan, Rengeruk, Taye and Tirop are well placed. Judd is forced wide and is falling back.

10:14 AM

Ben Bloom reports from the Olympic Stadium

The athletics action has returned at the Olympic Stadium for our first evening session. It is, erm ... perhaps not the most exciting of evening sessions and it is significantly shorter than most of those to follow over the next week, with just three track events and two in the field.

The undoubted highlight is the men's 10,000m final which ends the night. There is no Mo Farah here after the double Olympic champion failed to qualify for these Tokyo Games.

In his absence, Uganda's world champion, 5,000m world record holder and 10,000m world record holder Joshua Cheptegei is the man to beat.

He has been unstoppable in recent years, but has suddenly appeared vulnerable at times this summer, suggesting gold will be no gimme.

His compatriot Jacob Kiplimo may well challenge for top honours, along with the Ethiopian pair of Yomif Kejelcha and Selemon Barega. Kenya's best hope is Rhonex Kipruto.

10:10 AM

In the triple jump

Jamaica's Shanieka Ricketts, the No2 ranked athlete, easily qualifies for the final with her first effort, making 14.43m, 3cm beyond the 14.40 qualifying standard.

10:08 AM

Hironaka leads through 2,000m

Hitting six minutes dead, Judd is in second, Hassan bringing up the year, two seconds off the pace but begins to overtake now.

10:06 AM

Hassan hangs at the back

While the home runner, Ririka Hironaka, wearing a cap now strides into the lead ahead of Judd through 1,500m.

10:04 AM

Jessica Judd hits the front

The tall, rangy University of Loughborough alumna sets the pace.

10:02 AM

The first event of the evening is the women's 5000m heat one

And going in this is the clear favourite, Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, winner of the 1,500m and 10k at Doha and going for a unique treble of 1,500, 5,000 and 10,000.

09:53 AM

TV coverage

The BBC is allowed only two sports at once by the terms of their secondary crown jewels deal with the principal rights-holder Discovery so won't be showing the athletics until noon, understandably given the one final is not until 12.30pm.

Eurosport 1 is your home for the heats, the live broadcast helmed by London 2012 Super Saturday hero Greg Rutherford.

09:03 AM

Good morning and welcome

To live coverage of the second session of the opening day of the track and field competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The main event this evening (12.30pm BST) in Japan is the men's 10,000m final which, for the first time since Beijing 2008, will not feature nor be won by Sir Mo Farah.

One would think that the overwhelming favourite would be Uganda's world champion and world record holder Joshua Cheptegei, who smashed long-established benchmarks in his Nike ZoomX Dragonfly spikes, with 26.11.00 wiping six seconds off the previous best by Kenenisa Bekele, which had stood for 15 years. Cheptegei is the world and Commonwealth champion, the world cross country champion and also holds the world record in the 5,000m, beating Bekele's other 15-year high by two seconds last year.

But his compatriot Jacob Kiplimo is dominating the market after winning this year's world half marathon and displaying an astonishing kick to accelerate towards the finish. If Cheptegei can make it a fast race from the first 1,500m onwards, he ought to win but if Kiplimo is within striking distance with a lap to go, he has the sprint to win. Other leading contenders include Ethiopia's Yomif Kejelcha, who won silver at the worlds in Doha but who, as the world indoor mile record holder, is quicker still at the finish than even Kiplimo. Kenya's Rhonex Kipruto is ranked No2 in the world and his team will go hard to put him in contention.

Team GB have two runners in the field, North Yorkshire's Marc Scott, the British 5,000m champion, who set a pb in the 10K of 27.10.41 this year, and Cleethorpes' Sam Atkin, whose 27.26.48 to secure qualification last year at that point made him the fourth fastest British 10,000m runner behind only Sir Mo, Jon Brown and Eamonn Martin.

The 10k will be the finale of the evening session but before that we'll have heats in women's 5,000m (Jessica Judd goes in the first, Eilish McColgan and Amy-Eloise Markovic in the second); women's triple jump (no GB athlete but who cares when you can watch Yulimar Rojas fly); women's shot put featuring Sophie McKinna and also the champion from Beijing and London (and silver at Rio) Valerie Adams plus the heats of the 4x400m mixed relay, an event making its Olympics debut - GB's quartet go in the seciond heat at 12.12pm.