Obiri wins 5000 meters with astonishing last lap

Allyson Felix in the Rio Olympics

Allyson Felix takes the baton across the line clinching the U.S. victory in the 2016 Olympic 4 x 400 meters. Olivier Morin Getty

Kenyan Hellen Obiri produced an astonishing last lap to break Almaz Ayana's resistance, win the 5,000 meters at the World Athletics Championships and claim her first major title on Sunday.

Ayana led with Obiri on her shoulder into the final lap until the Kenyan, silver medallist in Rio de Janeiro previous year, burst past with 300 metres left and stormed home to win in 14:34.86, more than five seconds clear of her rival.

Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands prevented an East African clean sweep by taking the bronze.

Ayana was unable to burn off Obiri as she had done her rivals in the 10,000m - which she won by over 46sec - with the Kenyan content to let her 25-year-old rival do all the pace-setting. "I could see Ayana was not going so I thought, why not?"

After a season blighted by a leg injury and illness, Ayana looked back at her imperious best in the 10,000m but it soon became clear these exertions were catching up with the reigning champion. "I am mentally strong so I knew I was capable", said Obiri.

The race took to a slow start with Ayana dictating the pace through 400m and 800m in 1:21.77 and 2:40.74 respectively before another Ethiopian Senbere Teferi took the pack through 1,000m in 3:18.00 with Obiri and Ayana in pursuit.

Ayana seized the initiative with nine laps left, Obiri followed and after steadily increasing the gap, they were more than 50 metres clear with four to go.

"It was a hard race".

"I've had many injuries this year so I am very happy with two medals".

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