For the first time in five editions, Kenya failed to win the gold medal in the 10,000m at the Commonwealth Games as Uganda’s Stella Chesang steamed away from Keya’s Stacy Ndiwa to clinch the 2018 title and deliver a heartwarming moment of pure class on the Cararra Stadium track.
“I want to congratulate Stella Chesang for winning Gold in the Women’s 10,000m finals at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. You have done your country proud,” Uganda President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni also congratulated Chesang moments after the victory on his twitter handle.
Chesang put on the afterburners at the bell with Ndiwa having controlled the race from the beginning and the Ugandan seemed to have reserved enough energy to take her through unchallenged in the final 400m.
She timed 31:45:30 ahead of Ndiwa who picked a personal best time of 31:46.36. Mercyline Chelangat ensured there would be two Ugandans on the podium as she waded off Kenya’s Beatrice Mutai in a sprint finish to claim bronze in 31:48.41.
The other Kenyan Sandrafelis Chebet could not weather the fast pace in the final three laps as she came in 10th, but it was enough to hand her a personal best time of 32:11.92.
The entire group was still well packed in together but after 10 laps, it started to break off with the three Kenyans taking control of the tempo.
All this while, the Ugandans were lurking behind and just like predators waiting for the opportune time to strike.
Chesang put on the afterburners with 300m left, Ndiwa trying but in vain to catch her.
With five laps to go, Chesang showed her intent springing to the front joining Ndiwa as the two kick up the pace. With three to go, Sandrafelis dropped off the pace as Ndiwa and Chesang led from the front, Mutai kicking behind them.