BY JOAN WANJIRU,3RD AUG,2021-Nicholas Kimeli is through to the Tokyo Olympics men’s 5000m final after topping his heat with a 13:38.87 run at the Olympic Stadium on Tuesday.
Teammate Daniel Simiu faded to finish tenth after a costly tumble in the eighth lap when he was tripped by Frenchman Hugo Hay.
Canadian Mohammed Ahmed was second with William Kincaid (USA), Oscar Chelimo (Uganda) and Birhanu Balew (Bahrain) also among the top five finishers with guaranteed qualifying slots.
Kimeli ran a steady race, only briefly letting Ahmed take the lead before the Canadian fell back to third behind the Kenyan champion and Simiu.
Kimeli was looking composed with a one-meter lead with two laps left as Simiyu dropped to fifth with Ethiopian Nibret Melak and Ahmed keeping tabs just behind.
The 22-year-old Kimeli faced a strong challenge from Ahmed and Kincaid at the final bend and was almost overtaken but he injected a fresh acceleration of pace to regain his lead.