Zane Robertson ran a bold race to claim the bronze medal in an action-packed 5000m at the athletics stadium today.
The race was won by Kenyan Caleb Ndiku in 13min 12.07s from countryman Isiah Koech, 13min 14.06s. Zane Robertson ran 13min 16.52s, his season’s best, for third and prevented a Kenyan clean sweep.
It was heartening for New Zealand supporters to see a figure in black running so well in a track distance race and gaining a place on the podium.
The three New Zealanders in the race provided much of the action.
The 24-year-old Robertson twins, Zane and Jake – born in Hamilton but based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – did not let the Kenyans dominate and at about 3000m took over pace-making duties.
They dictated the race for several laps before Ndiku and Koech swept into the lead.
Zane staged in touch with them, but Jake dropped back into the bunch, where his heel was clipped by the third New Zealander in the field, Nick Willis. Robertson took a tumble but rose quickly and took off, startled and stunned, but still fighting. Willis retained his feet, but had to run around his countryman and seemed to lose much of his rhythm.
In the end Jake Robertson finished ninth in the field of 24, with a time of 13min 29.69s. Willis was just behind, 10th in 13min 34.46s.
However, the race was effectively over for Jake Robertson and Willis once their feet became tangled.