Bekele drops distance double in Beijing – DELDEN, Netherlands (AP)

May 23rd, 2008 Print Print Email Email

Kenenisa Bekele ruled out an Olympic 5,000-10,000 double in Beijing on Friday, four years after narrowly missing out on winning both races at the Athens Games.

Bekele claims to be in the form of his life after winning the world cross-country title again, but said tougher competition and a tight schedule ruled out challenging for both golds.

“I don’t want to run the double this time,” Bekele said on the eve of his world-record attempt in the 5,000 at the FBK Games on Saturday. (more…)

Kenenisa Bekele ruled out an Olympic 5,000-10,000 double in Beijing on Friday, four years after narrowly missing out on winning both races at the Athens Games.

Bekele claims to be in the form of his life after winning the world cross-country title again, but said tougher competition and a tight schedule ruled out challenging for both golds.

“I don’t want to run the double this time,” Bekele said on the eve of his world-record attempt in the 5,000 at the FBK Games on Saturday.

On June 8, he also plans to break the 10,000 mark at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon.

In Beijing, Bekele will focus on defending his 10,000 gold medal, a title which has been won by Ethiopians since Haile Gebrselassie at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

In Athens, Bekele was beaten by 0.2 seconds in the 5,000 by Moroccan great Hicham El Guerrouj in a sprint to the finish line. Many blamed the heavy schedule for dulling his finishing kick in that race.

Few athletes have been able to clinch the long-distance double. But Emil Zatopek did a triple in 1952, adding the marathon. The last runner to win the double was Miruts Yifter of Ethiopia at the 1980 Moscow Games.

World-record holder Asafa Powell will race Tyson Gay in the 100 meters at the London Grand Prix meet in July, just two weeks before the Beijing Olympics.

The meet at the Crystal Palace stadium July 25-26 will probably be their only head-to-head competition before their likely meeting in the 100 final in Beijing on Aug. 16.

“He has the title of being the world-record holder and I have the title of being the world champion,” Gay said.

“If I run back-to-back rounds in London that will catapult me to the Olympics, so I am really looking to run fast times in London.”

Powell ran the 100 meters in 9.74 seconds last year to break the record.

Gay beat Powell to win last year’s World Championships in Osaka, Japan, with the Jamaican runner finishing third behind the Bahamas’ Derrick Atkins — apparently giving up when he realized he was out of contention for the gold medal.

The meet will feature Olympic pole vault champion and world-record holder Yelena Isinbayeva, along with 360 athletes from 35 nations.

UK Athletics chief executive Niels de Vos said Friday it was the “strongest grand prix lineup ever seen in the UK”

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