The main highlight on Day 1 of the 15th IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China was provided by Eritrean teenager Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, who won Eritrea’s first World Championships gold medal, taking the men’s marathon title in two hours 12 minutes and 27 seconds.
Yemane Tsegay of Ethiopia, with a lifetime best of 2:04:48, took the silver medal in 2:13.07 while Munyo Solomon Mutai from Uganda, came into the race with a personal best of 2:10:42, took the bronze medal in 2:13:29.
Eritrea, which gained independence only in 1993, had previously gained one medal at the World championships – when Zersenay Tadese took the silver medal behind Kenenisa Bekele in the 10,000m at the 2009 World Championships.
The 19 year-old Ghebreslassie surpassed Tadese in terms of World Championships medals in Beijing 2015, and as his personal best time of 2:07:47 (set at the Hamburg Marathon earlier this year) shows, he may yet match his illustrious compatriot in career achievements in the future.
Ghebreslassie thus became Eritrea’s first World Championships gold medallist, and the youngest winner of any road event in the history of the championships.
Farah too much for the Kenyans in 10,000m
Olympics double distance champion Mohammed Farah proved to be a hard nut to crack for his Kenyans rivals after retaining his 10,000m title on the opening day of action in Beijing.
Mo Farah, who captured his record sixth consecutive global title, came from behind at the bell to overpower Kenya’s World cross-country champion Geoffrey Kamworor to the finish line in 27:01.13.
Kamworor clocked 27:01.76 to take the silver medal whilst Paul Tanui, who finished third in Moscow two years ago, settled for the bronze medal again in 27:02.83.
Another Kenyan, World cross-country silver medallist Bedan Karoki, finished fourth in a season best of 27:04.77.