BEIJING (Reuters) - Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot won a thrilling last lap sprint to claim the women's 10,000 meters gold medal on Monday, capping her comeback season with her second world title in the longest track event.
The 31-year-old, who took 2014 off to have a child, hit the front with 300 meters to go and powered her way to victory in 31 minutes, 41.31 seconds to reclaim the title she won as part of a 5,000-10,000 double at the 2011 world championships in Daegu.
Ethiopia's Gelete Burka stayed with Cheruiyot when the Kenyan sprinted away on the back straight but could not handle the pace down the final straight and had to settle for silver in 31.41.77.
The bronze medal went to American Emily Infield (31.43.49), who pipped Molly Huddle on the line when her American team mate slowed to celebrate what she thought was going to be third place.
In the absence of Ethiopia's three-times world champion Tirunesh Dibaba, who has taken the year off to have a child, Cheruiyot's victory kept the title in East Africa for the 10th straight championships.
Infield's was the first world championship medal for a non-African born runner in the women's 10,000m since her compatriot Kara Goucher won bronze in Osaka in 2007.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Ken Ferris)