Gidey is the reigning 10,000m world champion.
CNN  — 

Letesenbet Gidey was the pre-race favorite and with the finishing line in sight it seemed as if the Ethiopian was to win gold with ease. But meters from the tape the 24-year-old fell, and in a blink of an eye, victory was dramatically gone.

In a spectacular conclusion to the women’s race at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia, Saturday, Kenya’s Beatrice Chebet overhauled Gidey with an impressive final kick to win the title.

With the finishing line looming, Gidey looked over her shoulder and would have sensed Chebet, the world 5000m silver medalist, sprinting towards her. It was as the Kenyan was on her shoulder that Gidey lost her footing on the uneven ground.

To make matters worse for Gidey, the reigning 10,000m world champion, she was disqualified for outside assistance after a supporter reportedly jumped the fence to assist her.

In an Instagram post, the athlete later said: “I’m doing well. Thank you for all the messages. I’ll be back. Today was a good race with a sad ending for me. Let’s take the good forward to the future.”

Olympic great Michael Johnson tweeted: “Wow! Heartbreaking for Letesenbet at World Cross Country Champs. Literally just meters from the tape!”

Chebet celebreates victory.

Chebet, the under-20 world cross country champion in 2019, won gold in 33:48. Ethiopia’s Tsigie Gebreselama took silver in 33:56 and Kenya’s Agnes Jebet Ngetich bronze in 34:00.

“I didn’t expect to win but she was slowing,” Chebet said, according to the sport’s governing body World Athletics. “I saw my chance and I decided to kick. I felt she didn’t have any more. I knew she couldn’t threaten me. I knew I had the potential to go on and win. I was still feeling strong. I knew I could do it.”

Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo won the men’s title in 29.17. Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor (29:26) was second, and Joshua Cheptegei third in 29:37.