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Kenenisa Bekele wins 5,000m title

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-23

Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele won the men's 5,000 metre world title in Berlin. After a breathtaking finish the 27-year-old Bekele took the gold in a time of 13min 17.09sec to beat defending champion Bernard Lagat of the United States (13:17.33).

AFP - Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele won an unprecedented distance double at the World Athletics Championships after adding the 5000m title to his 10,000m crown on Sunday.
   
The Ethiopian, who also completed the double at the Beijing Games last summer, failed to shake off the pack with his trademark kick going past the bell for the last lap and had to produce a nail-biting sprint to edge past Kenyan-born American defending champion Bernard Lagat at the line.
   
Bekele clocked 13min 17.09sec, far off his own world record of 12:37.35, with Lagat claiming silver on 13:17.33 and Qatar's James C'Kurui taking bronze at 0.48sec.
   
Bekele, who has been the fastest in the world over 5000m every year since 2004, won his fourth 10,000m world title on Monday to tie him with former master Haile Gebrselassie's record over the distance.
   
But no runner in the history of the worlds had nailed the 5-10,000m double.
   
Bekele led from the start and for most of the race, with the lead changing hands only a couple of times with his Kenyan rivals.
   
American Chris Solinsky and Kenyan Joseph Ebuya stuck to Bekele and with nine laps to go the latter finally took over the lead from the Ethiopian, who had slowed the pace for someone to do just that.
   
At the halfway mark, the pack went through the line together, the Kenyan trio of Vincent Chepkok, Eliud Kipchoge and Ebuya, Lagat and Ugandan Moses Kipsiro all prominent.
   
With two laps to go, Ebuya fell completely off the pace as the pack of 12 began jostling for a good attacking position for the final lap.
   
But Bekele's immediate spurt as the bell sounds did not materialise.
   
The diminutive Ethiopian instead bade his time and bolted late, with only 200 metres to go.
   
Looking anxiously back over right shoulder, Bekele realised he had not done enough as Lagat not only hung on but managed to pull level.
   
The two runners came into the back stretch neck and neck all the way through to 70 metres until Bekele found an extra surge of speed from somewhere in his tiny frame to see him nip past the older Lagat.
   
Eliud, who won gold in Paris 2003, came fourth in Helsinki and then rebounded to claim silver behind Lagat in Osaka 2007, finished in fifth place behind Kipsiro, with Ethiopian Ali Abdosh in sixth and Briton Mohammed Farah in seventh.
   
Of the 16 runners in the race, 12 were from Africa, with three representing countries other than their birth.
   
 

Date created : 2009-08-23

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