Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei delivered a masterclass of unpanicked front running to retain the men’s world (World Athletics) 10,000m title in Oregon, on Sunday.
Cheptegei, also the world record holder, led for large periods of the race and held off all challengers on the final lap at Eugene’s Hawyard Field to clock a winning time of 27min 27.43sec.
Kenya’s Stanley Waithaka Mburu claimed silver in 27:27.90, with another Ugandan, Jacob Kiplimo, taking bronze (27:27.97) in an unsually close finish.
Spain’s Carlo Mayo took up the early running, the loaded field quickly split into single file.
Uganda’s Stephen Kissa and Cheptegei then moved to the front at the 3km mark, Barega briefly surging through the 5km mark in 14.01.
Kiplimo put in a shift up front, further splitting the pack to a lead group of 15, perhaps bigger than the east Africans might have liked.
Heading into the final two laps, Barega and Mburu shot to the front, setting up a grandstand finish as a pack of eight went through the bell for the final 400 metres.
Long-time leader Cheptegei was in no doubt about what his race plan was, kicking past the pair at 300 metres and easily holding off all-comers down the back stretch, around the final bend and towards the home straight in a consummate display of distance running.
Reigning Olympic champion Selemon Barega of Ethiopia finished fifth, beaten to fourth by American Grant Fisher.