Paul Chelimo wins Olympic Trials 5000m by drifting into lane 4

2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials - Day 10
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Rio silver medalist Paul Chelimo won the Olympic Trials 5000m, outsprinting and sliding Grant Fisher and Woody Kincaid multiple lanes outside in the final straight.

Chelimo prevailed in 13:26.82, edging Fisher by .19. Kincaid was another .12 behind. Kincaid and Fisher went one-two in the 10,000m on July 18 and are going to Japan in both distance races.

Cooper Teare, the rising Oregon senior, missed the team by .95. Teare was trying to become the youngest U.S. Olympic 5000m runner since fellow Duck Steve Prefontaine in 1972, according to Olympedia.org.

Trials finish later Sunday with six finals, including the men’s 200m and 1500m and women’s 800m and 400m hurdles.

TRACK AND FIELD TRIALS: Results | TV Schedule

Chelimo, a 30-year-old born in Kenya who gained citizenship through the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, makes it back to the Games, three months after younger brother Alberto died unexpectedly in Colorado Springs. Chelimo trains there.

Chelimo said he traveled to and from Kenya while training for Trials.

In the race, Chelimo said he got clipped from behind six or seven times. Multiple times while leading, he turned around to speak to Kincaid and then Hassan Mead, who trailed closely. Fisher and Kincaid were behind him and to his outside for the final sprint, so Chelimo drifted into lane four to force them to run extra meters to pass him. Neither did.

“At the end of the day, I’m a really nice guy,” said Chelimo, whose pandemic “training” included squirting dish soap into a bathtub and sliding in place. “But on the track we’re not friends.”

After his Olympic silver, Chelimo took bronze at the 2017 Worlds and was seventh at 2019 Worlds. Brit Mo Farah, the Olympic champ in 2012 and 2016, no longer races the 5000m. Ethiopian Muktar Edris, the world champ in 2017 and 2019, was fifth at Ethiopian Trials.

Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei emerged as the favorite, breaking a 16-year-old world record last year.

Chelimo went eight and a half months between races in 2020, according to Tilastopaja.org, during which he said people kept asking if he retired.

“I believe in one thing,” Chelimo told Lewis Johnson on Olympic Channel, “go hard, or suffer the rest of your life.”

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Valencia Marathon produces historic times in men’s, women’s races

2022 Valencia Marathon
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Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum and Ethiopian Amane Beriso won the Valencia Marathon and became the third-fastest man and woman in history, respectively.

Kiptum, a 23-year-old in his marathon debut, won the men’s race in 2 hours, 1 minute, 53 seconds. The only men to ever run faster over 26.2 miles are legends: Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge (2:01:09 world record, plus a 2:01:39) and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele (2:01:41).

Kipchoge made his marathon debut at age 28, and Bekele at 31.

Beriso, a 31-year-old whose personal best was 2:20:48 from January 2016, stunned the women’s field Sunday by running 2:14:58. The only women to have run faster: Kenyans Brigid Kosgei (2:14:04) and Ruth Chepngetich (2:14:18).

Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey finished second in 2:16:49, the fastest-ever time for a woman in her marathon debut. Gidey is the world record holder at 5000m and 10,000m.

Valencia is arguably the top annual marathon outside of the six World Marathon Majors. The next major marathon is Tokyo on March 5.

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Aleksander Aamodt Kilde wins Beaver Creek downhill

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BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won his second straight World Cup downhill race to start the season, despite feeling under the weather.

Although dealing with an illness all week in training, Kilde powered through the challenging Birds of Prey course Saturday in a time of 1 minute, 42.09 seconds. It was enough to hold off Marco Odermatt of Switzerland by 0.06 seconds. James Crawford of Canada was third to earn his second career World Cup podium finish.

Kilde also won the opening downhill last weekend in Lake Louise, Alberta.

“It’s been a tough week,” Kilde said after the race. “I caught the flu in Lake Louise after a very, very nice weekend. It really hit me hard. Then I got a couple of days to rest and take it easy. … I felt OK. Still feeling it a little bit in my system.”

The Beaver Creek crew members had the course in solid shape a day after a downhill race was canceled due to high wind and snowfall.

ALPINE SKIING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Kilde reached speeds around 75 mph in picking up his eighth World Cup downhill victory. That tied him with Kjetil Jansrud for the third-most downhill wins in the World Cup discipline among Norwegian men. The total trails only Aksel Lund Svindal (14) and Lasse Kjus (10).

“I found a really, really good set-up with my equipment and also with my skiing,” Kilde explained. “I believe in myself. I trust in myself. I have a good game plan. When I stand on the start, I don’t dwell on anything. I know that this plan is what I do and when I do that it’s going to be fast.”

Odermatt has been on the podium in all four World Cup races this season as he tries to defend his overall World Cup title. The 25-year-old finished third in the opening downhill of the season last weekend. He’s also won a giant slalom race and a super-G.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle wound up in seventh place for the top American finish. He was ninth in the downhill in Lake Louise.

“It’s been solid,” Cochran-Siegle said of his strides in the discipline. “A couple of little things here and there that pushed me off that top three. You have to ski with a lot of intensity and ski without abandon, in a sense. Today was a good step.”

Switzerland’s Beat Feuz, who won the Olympic downhill gold medal at the Beijing Games last February, tied for ninth.

The Beaver Creek stop on the circuit comes to a close Sunday with a super-G race. Odermatt will be the favorite after holding off Kilde in the opening super-G last weekend.

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