Tsegay gold strengthens Ethiopian grip on medals table

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Ethiopia's Guday Tsegay

Guday Tsegay's gold medal in the women's 5000m strengthened Ethiopia's position on the medals table, where they sit second only to the United States, on the penultimate day of action in the World Athletics Championships.

Having won silver in the 1500m in Eugene, Oregon, earlier in the week, Tsegay finished first despite Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan passing her with just 200m to go.

Roared on by the numerous Ethiopian fans inside the arena, the 25-year-old won a dramatic sprint finish ahead of Kenya's Beatrice Chebet, with Ethiopia's Dawit Seyaum taking bronze.

Olympic champion Hassan could only finish sixth.

"We discussed the teamwork when we came to the competition, so we tried to do teamwork," said Tsegay, who took bronze in the 2020 Olympic 5000m.

After 10,000m world champion Letesenbet Gidey came home in fifth, the three Ethiopians hugged in celebration, although a fan draped in a flag of Ethiopia's northern Tigray region had to be escorted away by security as they did so.

"Our strength is our people, so when I saw the people supporting us like this, I felt very happy," Tsegay added.

The Ethiopian fans danced and chanted outside the stadium for some time after the result.

All the last ten World Championship women's 5000m titles have now either been won by Kenya or Ethiopia.

The latter currently boast 10 medals, four of which are gold, with third-placed Kenya having managed two golds, and eight overall, at the ongoing championships.

Korir progression

Having won the Olympic 800m title, Kenya's Emmanuel Korir ran 1:43.71 - over a second quicker than in Tokyo - to add World Championship gold to his medal collection.

Djamel Sedjati, 23, took silver for the biggest medal of his career, and Algeria's first of the championships, with Marco Arop - born in Sudan but who now competes for Canada - taking the last spot on the podium.

"It's a great achievement, Korir told BBC Sport Africa. "I thank God that I am here today, standing as a world champion. I'm so happy about the year."

"Sometimes it's all about courage. I've been struggling with a few things but here I am, at the end, the best."

Following a first ever medal - a bronze - at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Burkina Faso and triple jumper Hugues-Fabrice Zango went one better this time, registering a season best of 17.55m to take silver.

His fiercest rival, Cuban-born Portuguese Pedro Pichardo, put the pressure on early, with a world leading 17.95m on his very first attempt.

"I tried to catch up with his jump, but I was limited physically this time," Zango explained to BBC Sport Africa.

Hugues-Fabrice ZangoHugues-Fabrice Zango upgraded his bronze in 2019 to silver in 2022

"This is still my best season's performance, so it's a good thing. There are still things to work on for the end of the season, because there is the Diamond League. And I will try to do something because I can feel there is still something in my legs that I couldn't fully express tonight."

Elsewhere, Botswana's 4x400m men's relay had a fortunate escape after dropping the baton during the second exchange between Zibane Ngozi and Keitumetse Maitseo, causing the team to go from first to last.

However, they were reinstated following an appeal and will now make the start line in Sunday's final.

African records tumble

The day started with an African record as Nigerian Tobi Amusan ran 12.40 seconds in the 100m hurdles to surprise even herself.

"I really wasn't expecting that," Amusan said afterwards. "My coach always says execute and let the time take care of itself. I'm happy, healthy and competing."

Having finished fourth at both the last Olympics and World Championships, she is hoping to go at least one better in Eugene.

"It would be a dream come true, because I've always been in championship finals, and getting on the podium is going to be a reward for all my tears and pain over the years," the Nigerian explained.

In the night session, Nigerian athletes also broke an African record in the Women's 4x100m relay as they finished fourth, in 42.22s, after the Americans stunned the Jamaicans to take gold.

"Breaking the African record is a big deal for us, because we didn't practice until two weeks ago," said Favour Ofili.

"It's sad missing the podium, but breaking the record? I'm grateful for that."

In other African results, Nigeria's Ese Brume qualified for the long jump final when registering 6.82m on her third jump.

The championships - where Uganda and Morocco have also won a gold medal apiece - conclude on Sunday.

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