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Olympics–Chemos eclipsed in 3000m steeplechase

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Chemos an Olympic bronze medalist in Beijing four years ago who was
carrying the country’s hopes settled for the fourth place by clocking
9:09.84 as compatriot Mercy Njoroge was placed tenth in a time of
9:26.73
The race was won by Russia’s Yuliya Zaripova who was repeating the
tactics which won her the World Championships title in Daegu last
year.
The Russian led from gun-to-tape to add the Olympic Games crown to her
collection in a 2012 World leading and personal best time of 9:06.72.
The 26-year-old, keeping the gold medal in Russian hands after Gulnara
Galkina won the inaugural event four years ago in Beijing with the
World record time of 8:58.81, ground out a fairly quick opening
kilometre of 3:06.24 followed by a second of 3:05.36.
Zaripova, looking totally calm and collected approaching the
penultimate water jump, accelerated very quickly and her injection of
further speed saw her hit the bell looking calm and relaxed, before
powering away to a 64.98 final circuit for an easy victory.

Although Ghribi tried ruffling her feathers down the backstraight
particularly between 250m and the last 200m marker, the Tunisian’s
efforts were repelled and Zaripova left her a spent force when
speeding down the final straight.

As she roared towards the finish line, behind her Ghribi coming off
the last barrier, looked anxiously behind, but knew she was in a fail
safe position as she crossed the line in national record time of
9:08.37.

That wasn’t the case for the bronze medal with Ethiopia’s Assefa
having to fight desperately to hold off the late charge from an
under-performing Chemos.

But throughout those five circuits of the stadium, she found her
mainly talented African rivals easily following the pace including the
eventual silver and bronze medallists, Habiba Ghribi and Sofia Assefa.

Surprisingly not one of them, despite the fast pacemaking but knowing
how Zaripova had tactically dominated in her World gold medal success
12 months earlier, made any attempt to challenge her leadership as she
again led them like lambs to the slaughter.

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