Joshua Cheptegei and his understudy Jacob Kiplimo finished second and third as Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega won the first track and field gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday and claimed the 10,000-meter title back for Ethiopia after nearly a decade of dominance by Mo Farah.
Barega broke clear on the last lap and won in 27 minutes, 43.22 seconds. The 21-year-old Barega upset world champion and world-record holder Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda, who took the silver medal in 27:43.63. Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda was third for bronze.
Barega’s last-lap burst was good enough as he moved out in front with about 300 meters to go and held off the late charge by the two Ugandans, who were expected to go 1-2 in the first track final of the Tokyo Games.
Barega had no major titles in the 10,000 before Friday. His first was the big one.