12 JUL 2003 General News

Men 3000 metres Final

Kenya’s Augustine Choge introduced himself as the latest East African distance running sensation by destroying a top class field with a totally dominant front running performance.

The teenager, who placed fourth in the junior race at March’s IAAF World Cross Country Championships, led from the outset and after a 60 second first lap he went through 800m in 2:04.00 and 1km in 2:36.62.

His Kenyan team-mate William Tarus was lurking just behind Choge with the Ethiopian duo Tariku Bekele, the brother of two-time double World Cross Country champion Kenenise,  and Shimelis Girma also in close order.

A slower second kilometre (2:43.69) saw Choge reach 2km in 5:20.31 and come the bell six athletes all from Africa, the Kenyan and Ethiopian duo Ahmed El Radi of Sudan and Jean-Claude Nduwingoma of Burundi all in the medal hunt.

Choge kicked down the back straight and opened up a five metre gap on Bekele and a further acceleration with 200m to go proved decisive as the man who has run 1:49.7 in the East Africsan Championships earlier this year crossed the line in 7:52.53.

Bekele claimed silver in 7:54.71 in one of ten personal bests registered in a high quality race. Bekele’s compatriot Girma collected bronze with a 7:55.12 performance.