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For Tirop, second bronze tastes better

By , People Daily Digital
Monday, September 30th, 2019 00:00 | 2 mins read
Agnes Tirop after winning bronze in the women’s 10,000m in Doha, Qatar on Saturday. PhotoPD/KEITH MCGHIE

Keith McGhie in Doha

Agnes Tirop says her second successive 10,000m bronze medal at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar on Saturday was more gratifying than the one gained in London two years ago and pledged to go for gold at the Olympics in 2020.

Tirop, who will turn 24 next month, finished third in Doha, behind Sifan Hassan, from the Netherlands, and Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey in a lifetime best 30 minutes, 25.20 seconds.

The Kenyan ran with her compatriots Rosemary Wanjiru and Hellen Obiri for most of the arduous 25-lap race, repeatedly trying to drop a trio of Ethiopians and the diversely talented Hassan, who has had an outstanding season with world records over a mile and five kilometres plus European bests at 3,000m and 5,000m and two Diamond League victories at 1,500m and 5,000m.

But when the tactically astute Hassan made her move with just over 400 metres to go, neither Gidey, who had led for the previous two-and-a-half laps, or Tirop could stay with her.

Hassan’s 61.49 second last lap gave her a best in the world this year in a time of 30:17.62 and her first outdoor global gold medal.

An elated Tirop, who finished immediately ahead of Wanjiru (personal best 30:35.75) and Obiri (personal best 30:35.82), enthused: “I am so happy about today because it was a hard race.

I tried to push the race but Sifan was at the back and managed to stay with us. We planned to run for each other and each of us tried at some stage to get away from the rest.”

“I think this time it was more satisfying as in London I ran 31:01, whereas this time I managed a PB of 30:25, so it was a big improvement. I will go back and train hard to target a gold medal in the Olympics over 10,000m,” she added. 

Obiri, aiming to double up and defend her 5,000m title later this week, remained in contention for most of the race, usually with Hassan snapping at her heels.

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