Athletics: Edris retains 5,000m world title in thrilling finale

Ethiopia's Muktar Edris celebrates with the national flag after winning the Men's 5000m final at the 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championships at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on Sept 30, 2019.
Ethiopia's Muktar Edris celebrates with the national flag after winning the Men's 5000m final at the 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championships at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on Sept 30, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

DOHA (REUTERS) - Ethiopia's Muktar Edris won a thrilling battle over the last 200 metres to retain his title in the 5,000 metres at the world championships on Monday (Sept 30).

The 25-year-old, roared on by a noisy contingent of flag-waving fans, outsprinted compatriot Selemon Barega to win in a season's best 12 minutes 58.85 seconds as the Ethiopians were rewarded for a team performance with gold and silver.

In a physical final lap which saw plenty of jostling, Mo Ahmed took the bronze to win Canada's first-ever world championships medal over the distance.

There was a wide open field in the first 5,000m final not to feature Britain's Mo Farah, whose run of three successive titles was ended by Edris in London two years ago.

In contrast to the deserted arena which marred Sunday's events, the race took place in a raucous atmosphere, boosted by the Ethiopian contingent, and with the stadium more than half full.

Apart from the Ethiopians and Kenyans, the 5,000m also featured the three Ingebrigtsen brothers from Norway - Henrik, Filip and Jakob.

With nobody prepared to make a break, the race was still up for grabs with two laps to go.

Ahmed attempted to push the pace then Jakob Ingebrigtsen tried to break clear at the bell as the runners jostled for position.

But the 19-year-old Norwegian ran out of gas and was overhauled with 300 metres to go and finished fifth.

Barega went ahead but Edris came bursting through to make a mockery of those who had questioned his form, while Telahun Haile Bekele, previously the fastest this year, was fourth.