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Kamel flies to 1500m victory

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-19

The new 1,500-metres world champion, who was born Gregory Konchellah before running for Bahrain under the name of Yusuf Saad Kamel, was in the pack until the last 70 metres, when he forced his way to finish first with a time of 3:35.93.

AFP - Bahraini Yusuf Saad Kamel upset the favourites in the men’s 1,500 metres with a last-gasp dash to win the world championship gold medal on Wednesday.

Kenyan-born Kamel was in the pack until the last 70 metres when he forced his way past Ethiopian Deresse Mekonnen, who won silver, to finish with a time of 3:35.93.

The United States’s defending world champion Bernard Lagat, who in 2007 put an end to north African domination of the race that stretched back to 1991, grabbed bronze.

Kenyan Augustine Choge, fastest in the world this year coming into the championships, took up the early running with Lagat and Mekonnen, lurking behind him.

The Ethiopian’s decision to pull clear at the bell proved too ambitious as Kamel and the pack eased back before opening up across four lanes for a charge to the line. Kamel, 26, proved strongest and took his first major title.

Kenyan-born Lagat, 34, who failed to win a medal when running injured in last year’s Beijing Olympics, held on for third.

Kamel, the son of a former two-time 800 metres world champion Billy Konchellah, changed his nationality in 2003 but spent much of this season trying to return to Kenya.
 

Date created : 2009-08-19

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