Ethiopia’s Meseret Defar takes gold in the women’s 5000 metres
Defending Olympic champion and newly-crowned 10,000m gold medallist Dibaba, considered the greatest female distance runner of all-time with three Olympic titles and four world crowns, took bronze in 15:05.15.
Britain’s Joanne Pavey took up the early running in the 12-and-a-half lap race, Dibaba content to sit quietly on the inside lane.
Italian Elena Romagnolo led the bunched peloton through the 2km mark in 6:17.35.
Cheruiyot and her teammates Sally Kipyego and Viola Kibiwot sat at the back of the pack as Dibaba took to the front with four laps remaining.
Defar followed, with Kibiwot leading the trio of Kenyans through to the front as the pace finally upped towards 65sec laps.
With 800m to go, Dibaba tested the waters with another surge that saw the main contenders cut to the six east African rivals.
As the bell rang for the final lap, Dibaba looked up at the screen to see where the field lay and approaching the final bend, there were still six runners in it.
Defar waited on Dibaba’s shoulder and pounced as her teammate, looking for her trademark turn of speed for the line, came up empty.
Cheruiyot, who is also reigning world 10,000m champion, then passed Dibaba in the final few metres.