16 SEP 2006 General News

Men's 5000m

Almost any race which includes Saif Saaeed Shaheen (ASI-QAT) is likely to be both enjoyable to watch and exciting. This was no exception. He sprinted to a 20m lead in the middle of the race, then slowed to a jog (shades of Paris in 2003).

With two laps to go, Matt Tegenkamp (USA) led by a step or two from Mike Kigen (AFR-KEN) and Shaheen. Then, suddenly, down the backstretch, Shaheen sprinted into the lead again, opening up a 20m advantage once again. On the final lap, Kigen and Tegenkamp made up more than half the deficit, but Shaheen crossed the finish line in 13:35.30 to Kigen’s 13:36.19 and the American third in 13:36.83.

“It’s not about time,” said Shaheen. “The most important thing was to win. I actually wanted to take this opportunity to beat Kenenisa Bekele, but he withdrew before the race. I’ll run the steeplechase tomorrow. I have the idea of doubling at next year’s World Championships, so it will be kind of trying in advance.

James Dunaway