Chelimo thought he had the race won with three laps to go. But Cheptegei just kept “cranking, cranking, cranking, cranking,” he said, and when the bell tolled for the final lap and after Ahmed overtook him for second place, Chelimo knew he would have to fight just to medal. As he approached the finish line alongside Kimeli, it looked as if both men might dive from a few meters out. Kimeli appeared to stumble near the line. Chelimo may have won, anyway, without lunging. He wasn’t going to take that chance.