•The new Olympic champion, Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali was elated after breaking Kenya's 53-year dominance in the men's 3000m steeplechase
•Benjamin Kigen could only win bronze despite the best efforts to
Although Benjamin Kigen's bronze medal in the men's 3000m steeplechase ended Kenya's medal drought at the Tokyo Olympics, it still hurt for the country to lose the steeplechase crown it has held since 1968.
With the exception of the 1976 and 1980 Olympics in Moscow and Montreal respectively, Kenyan runners have always clinched gold in every 3000m steeplechase race at the quadrennial event.
The new Olympic champion, Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali was an elated man, glad to have finally broken the Kenyan dominance after trying on several occasions with no success.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, he finished a disappointing fourth in a race won by immediate former champion, Conseslus Kipruto.
At the 2019 World Championships in Doha, he narrowly lost once again to Kipruto, finishing third in 8:03.76.
"I'm so used to seeing Kenyans win. It's a big accomplishment for me. I have tried so many times to compare myself with the Kenyans and Ethiopians to see whether I could reach this gold and I did," El Bakkali said.
In the infant stages of the eight-lap race, it seemed as if it was deja vu for the Moroccan as the Kenyan duo of Kigen and Commonwealth silver medalist Abraham Kibiwott took control of the race.
However, there was also the threat of the Ethiopian duo of Lamecha Girma and Getnet Wale who constantly hung on the shoulders of the Kenyans, determined to grab the Eastern African country's maiden gold in the water-and-hurdles.
Nonetheless, with the bell ringing for the ultimate lap, Bakkali surged forward, aided by his long legs, and not even the efforts of Kigen and Girma to match his sudden burst of pace could hold him back.
To his credit, Kigen gave all he could — as he had vowed on Sunday — to beat Girma to second place but it was all in vain.
In the end, Kigen's 8:11.45 was only enough for a third place, behind Bakkali (8:08.90) and Girma (8:10.38).
It was a similar storyline in the women's 5000m as Hellen Obiri's best efforts in the last lap were no match for Dutchwoman's Sifan Hassan monstrous kick to the finish line.
The Ethiopian-born 5km road race world record holder had lagged behind the leading pack for most of the 12-and-a-half lap race.
Obiri, world bronze medalist Agnes Tirop and the Ethiopian duo of world 1500m bronze medalist Gudaf Tsegay and Ejgayehu Taye took control of the race and for a while it seemed the home-girl would be realising her dream of a first Olympic gold.
However, it was not to be as Hassan crossed the finish line in 14:36.79 ahead of a resilient Obiri who clinched a second successive Olympic silver in 14:38.86.
"I am glad to have won silver because it is a great opportunity to be competing in these championships. It was a difficult race as no one wanted to take charge in the first laps. I still have another chance for a gold in the 10,000m so you never know," Obiri said.
Obiri and Hassan will meet once again in the women's 10,000m final with the latter hoping for a hat-trick of gold medals, including the women's 1500m.