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Kenyan Choge races to 5,000 win

Written by: Staff

MELBOURNE, Mar 20 (Reuters) Kenya's world junior champion Augustine Choge crushed the challenge of home favourite Craig Mottram to win the Commonwealth Games 5,000 metres gold medal today.

Choge, 19, stayed on Mottram's shoulder until bursting clear to claim his first major senior title in a Commonwealth Games record of 12 minutes 56.41 seconds.

Mottram took the silver medal in 12:58.19 and world champion Benjamin Limo the bronze in 13:05.30.

The Kenyans ran a brilliant tactical race, sandwiching Mottram between them and the Tanzanian trio of Fabian Naasi, Damian Chopa and Dickson Marwa over the first 3,000 metres.

Mottram ran bravely around the Melbourne Cricket Ground track on a cool night, bursting clear with about 1,000 left to run.

But the diminutive Choge, world junior cross country champion, wore the Australian down and then sprinted home.

''I don't know how to describe myself, I'm so happy,'' Choge told reporters.

''When I heard the crowd cheering I felt them pushing me, and I thank them,'' added the son of farmers from Nandi, who trains in Germany.

''I've beaten him once and he's beaten me once, he's a very good runner,'' Choge said of Mottram.

Mottram, 25, said he had trained hard to win in front of his home crowd but was unable to match Choge's final sprint.

''For me it was silver but I desperately wanted gold tonight,'' the Australian said.

''You've got to hang on and just keep going and unfortunately Choge was just too strong.'' Reuters PDS DB1939

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