Kenenisa Bekele and Sileshi Sihine win the gold and silver, respectively, at 10,000 meters – The Associated Press

August 27th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

OSAKA, Japan: Kenenisa Bekele needs almost no practice to win at 10,000 meters. (more…)

OSAKA, Japan: Kenenisa Bekele needs almost no practice to win at 10,000 meters.

The Ethiopian proved it again Monday in his first race at the distance this season, running 27 minutes, 05.90 seconds to claim his third straight 10,000-meter title at the world championships.

Fellow Ethiopian Sileshi Sihine took silver in 27:09.03 with bronze for Kenyan Martin Mathathi in 27:12.17.

Bekele ran in third place from the start with Zersenay Tadesse of Eritrea leading for most of the race.

Mathathi led a break away with three laps to go, the Ethiopians went with him and Tadesse faded.

On the final lap, Bekele edged in behind Sihine and then overtook him with 200 meters to go and swept home to win by a whopping 25 meters.

Sihine, called the “silver man” for finishing second so often to Bekele, was second in the 2004 Olympics and second in the world championships two years ago at both 10,000 and 5,000 meters. Bekele won all those races, too.

The 25-year-old Bekele is peerless at the 10,000. He’s the world record holder, the defending Olympic champion and is undefeated at the distance in eight races over four years.

Bekele picks his spots. This was his first 10,000 race this season and some thought he might be vulnerable. He lost in the world cross country championships in March after 10 wins over five years.

On another hot, muggy night in western Japan, the 25-year-old Ethiopian was far off his record time of 26:17.53 set two years ago in Brussels.

Bekele has never won Olympic or world gold at 5,000 meters, although he’s the world record holder (12:37.35) at the distance. He not expected to run that distance in Osaka.

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