Bekele storms to 10,000m victory

August 18th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

BEIJING (AFP) / August 18, 2008

Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia won his second successive Olympic 10,000 metres gold medal on Sunday, producing a devastating burst of speed on the last lap to see off any pretenders to his title.

The 26-year-old triple world champion clocked a new Olympic record of 27 minutes 01.17 seconds, with compatriot Sileshi Sihine claiming silver – as he did at the Athens Games in 2004 – in 27:02.77.

Kenyan Micah Kogo ensured there was no Ethiopian clean-sweep, taking bronze in 27:04.11. (more…)

BEIJING (AFP) / August 18, 2008

Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia won his second successive Olympic 10,000 metres gold medal on Sunday, producing a devastating burst of speed on the last lap to see off any pretenders to his title.

The 26-year-old triple world champion clocked a new Olympic record of 27 minutes 01.17 seconds, with compatriot Sileshi Sihine claiming silver – as he did at the Athens Games in 2004 – in 27:02.77.

Kenyan Micah Kogo ensured there was no Ethiopian clean-sweep, taking bronze in 27:04.11.

Bekele’s 35-year-old team-mate Haile Gebrselassie, the Olympic 10,000m champion in 1996 and 2000, came in sixth.

Together, the two runners have ensured Ethiopian dominance in the event for four consecutive Olympic Games.

Bekele confirmed after the race he would attempt the long-distance track ‘double’ after twice falling just short, in Athens four years ago and at the 2003 world championships, where he came away with a silver and bronze medal in the respective 5,000m events.

“I’m so happy with my performance – I won an Olympic gold for the second time,” Bekele said. “Winning again is special, very special.

“The race was fantastic, there was no pacemaker and everyone was pushing. No-one could push any harder.

“It is a big gift. I will now try to run the 5,000 metres. It is not easy to run the two events. It will be a strong race.”

The modest Bekele also refused to compare himself with Gebrselassie.

“I have to have many years of winning events before I can do that,” he said.

“It’s good to get the Ethiopian one-two,” added Sihine. “The last lap was tough, I tried to keep up, but the pace was too fast.”

Gebrselassie agreed with Sihine, saying: “I wanted to do something (to fight for the lead) but the pace was too much.

“He is wonderful,” Gebrselassie added of Bekele. “I knew he would win. If he did the 5,000 metres, he would win that too.”

Just as female compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba had done to win Friday’s 10,000m, Bekele hit the front just as the bell rung for the final lap, in perfect conditions for long-distance running at the National Stadium.

Within the space of just a few seconds, Bekele had opened up a decisive gap between himself and the chasing pack.

Gebreselassie followed but in vain as he was overtaken by Sihine, who kicked past Kogo for second spot with 300 metres to go.

Bekele, the world record holder over both 5,000m and 10,000m, kicked again with 200 metres to go as Eritrea’s Zersenay Tadesse was manhandled by Kogo around the final bend.

Kogo just saw off Kenyan team-mate Moses Ndiema Masai for bronze, with Tadesse coming in fifth, one second back, with Gebrselassie a further 1.57secs adrift.

Eritrean Kidane Tadesse had guided the main pack through the half-way point of the race at 13:48.00.

With 10 laps to go, the pack reshuffled as runners battled for position, and Gebrselassie briefly took up the lead, to the cheers of a large flag-waving Ethiopian contingent of fans tucked in the stands by the finish line.

Qatar’s Ahmad Hassan Abdulladh and Kenyan Martin Mathathi pushed the early pace, with the main contenders happy to follow in their wake.

With three laps to go, the main group had reduced to seven, but Bekele was in ominous form and bided his time for the final attack.

The men’s 5,000m heats are scheduled for Wednesday, with the final taking place on Saturday.

  1. Great
    | #1

    Haile anibesa.
    Kenenisa anibesa.
    Sileshi anibesa.

    that is what we have for this year.

    Teddy, we missed you so much.
    But you are also a Hero who is thrown to jail by the corrupted dictator. God will make you free soon. Be strong, God bless you.

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