Thursday 14 November 2019

Alastair Cragg fails to make 5,000m final

Alastair Cragg
Alastair Cragg

Cliona Foley

ALISTAIR Cragg has failed in his bid to make a third consecutive Olympic final.

The US-based, South African-born Irish runner became the latest Irish athlete to bow out of their heats when he failed to get through this morning's 5000m heats.

The 32-year-old, who finished 12th in the Athens Olympics but dropped out of his last Olympic final, finished well off the pace in the second of two heats.

He finished fifth last in a time of 13:47 in a race won by Ethiopia's Dejen Gebremeskel in 13:15 but Cragg's inability to get through was no surprise considering he switched coaches in May and had not raced at all since June 2, when he ran 13:35 in the Prefontaine Classic in America.

As expected new Olympic 5000m champion Mo Farah stayed on course for a double by finishing in the top five in the first heat won by Hayle Ibrahimova of Azerbijan in 13:25.23 and Farah's training partner and 10,000m silver medallist Galen Rupp also got through as a fastest loser from Cragg's race which was 10 seconds faster than the first.

He was well in touch until the 3000m mark but when the Africans then threw in another few surges and one 60-sec lap Cragg went out the back, as did Australia's Craig Mottram who made a lot of the early running and took them through the first two kilometres in splits of 2:38 and 5:19.

Cragg admitted afterwards that he had really hoped to run the marathon in London but had to settle for the track after getting the 5000m A standard last year and it certainly looks as if his athletics future now rests with the marathon.

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