With European record holder and championship silver medallist Simon Vroeman of the Netherlands off the leading pace set by a group of four – USA’s Anthony Famiglietti, Asia’s Khamis Abdullah Saifeldin, Africa’s Wilson Boit Kipketer and Spain’s Luis Miguel Martin – the race seemed likely to boil down to an Africa verses Spanish battle, and that’s exactly what materialised with 400m to go.
The racing pedigree of both Boit Kipketer of Kenya who is the Olympic silver medallist and a former world record holder, and Martin who is the Spanish record holder, European bronze medallist and World championship fourth placer, towered over the aspirations of their Asian and US opponents.
When the race really began in earnest as Martin led the group to the bell in 7:23.48, Famiglietti and Saifeldin were left for dead as Martin, followed immediately by Boit Kipketer began the true sprint for home.
What a mighty sprint finish it was but it was only just on entering the finishing straight that Martin had finally to give best to the Kenyan who went into overdrive with a blisteringly quick turn of pace in the last 70 metres.
Boit-Kipketer’s winning time for Africa was 8:25.34, second was Martin in 8:26.35, with Asia’s Saifeldin taking third (8:30.66) and Famiglietti fourth for the USA (8:32.72).