Kenenisa Bekele will make his come back on the track on 1 June during the FBK-Games in Hengelo.
The Fanny Blankers-Koen Games is a Grand Prix status meeting as part of the IAAF World Athletics Tour 2009.
The announcement follows the meetings news in March that Haile Gebrselassie will be attempting to better his own World record for the One Hour Run at the meeting – see 'Related Content' under photo to the right of this story.
As such the Hengelo meeting has secured two of the greatest names in world let alone Ethiopian long distance running history, runners who carved out their track reputations in this Holland’s premier annual meeting.
Bekele, the 2008 Olympic champion for 5000 and 10,000 metres will race the 1500 metres in Hengelo with his season’s goal the 10,000 metres at the 12th IAAF World Athletics Championships in Athletics, Berlin, Germany (15 to 23 Aug 2009) and the $1 Million Jackpot at the ÅF Golden League. In Hengelo, Bekele’s aim will be to improve his speed and final sprint.
The Ethiopian ace did not run at all this winter season. Due to a severe ankle injury which occurred during the Seven Hills Run (Zevenheuvelenloop) in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, on 16 November 2008, Bekele was not able to start last month’s World Cross Country Championships in Amman, Jordan, or race at all on the indoor circuit.
In the Nijmegen race Bekele had tried to improve the World record for 15kms, and although for much of the time it looked like Bekele was on his way to bettering the record he got problems and finished third.
Bekele’s manager Jos Hermens said, “Kenenisa is training well but the problems cost him two months of training. Hengelo will be his first race this year. For the Golden League and the World Championships he needs a good finish. He has to work on his speed and therefore he will run the 1500 metres in Hengelo.”
Wim van Hemert for the IAAF