Hengelo, The Netherlands - Ethiopia has yet another running wonder. Yenew Alamirew seems to have everything that can make him a possible future successor to the living running legends Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele. The spectators of the 29th edition of the FBK-Games will make acquaintance with this athlete on Sunday 29 May.
The FBK-Games is an IAAF World Challenge meeting.
The athlete, who will celebrate his 21st birthday on Friday 27 May, is according to insiders already seen as a great champion for the future. In Hengelo he will compete on the 5000 metres.
For a year and a half now Alamirew has been coached by athletes’ manager Jos Hermens and his colleague Valentijn Trouw. Hermens, also discovered ‘Mister Hengelo’ Gebrselassie and Bekele.
“Yenew is more than Haile and Kenenisa a runner for the 1500 and 3000 metres,” predicts Hermens. “With his speed and running style he looks a lot like Daniel Komen, who is holder of the World record 3000 metres indoors and outdoors….We think he can become a really good athlete. His progression is huge, and all the things he does look really impressive.”
Hermens has been curious what Alamirew can really run at the 5000m ever since he ran 13:16.53 on the 5 June in Oordegem last year.
“He should be able to run sub 13,” thinks Hermens. “He doesn’t have a large number of training years, so we have to wait and see. But Hengelo could be his breakthrough at this distance. Yenew has a good final shot so he can wait until the sprint. He is a smart guy and already has good tactical foresight. Of course in big athletic meets it also comes down to his personality, this is also no problem."
Yenew Alamirew won the 3000m at the Samsung Diamond League in Doha on 6 May, and the top five from that race will also start in Hengelo at 5000m.
“Doha was a good indicator for the FBK-Games,” feels Jos Hermens, who doesn’t exclude the chance that the winner on Sunday will run near the 12:49.53 which Kenenisa Bekele ran at the end of July in 2007 in the Spanish town of Zaragoza. That was the last time that an athlete ran below twelve minutes and fifty seconds. Bekele is the World record holder since the FBK-Games on 31 May 2004 with a time of 12:37.35.
Hermens: “in Doha Alamirew won the 3000 metres in 7:27, an exceptional good time for a relatively new athlete, mainly because he beat all the established names. This will be his real first outdoor season. I have high expectations for the 5000m in Hengelo. The athletes who will start there can run a low 12:50 if the wind doesn’t get too bad.”
In Doha Yenew Alamirew beat Edwin Soi, Eliud Kipchoge, Augustine Choge and Vincent Chepkok in the final stage of the race. They are undoubtedly looking for revenge against the new athlete. Soi won the bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics, while Kipchoge, who has a personal best of 12:46.53 and is a former World champion, last year ran the world leading time for 5000 metres (12:51.21), and was followed by Chepkok (12:51.45). Choge has a PB of 12:53.66.
Champions gather for 100m Hurdles
Olympic champion Dawn Harper, who won tonight at the Rome Samsung Diamond League meeting (26 May), can expect close competition in the 100m Hurdles from another American, Lolo Jones who in 2008 and 2010 won the World Indoor championships at 60m Hurdles. Jones however was a non-finisher in Rome.
Also present in Hengelo will be Perdita Felicien. The Canadian won the World title in 2003 and silver in 2007, and last year took the World Indoor championships silver to back-up the title she won in 2004.
The stadium record is held by Sweden’s Susanna Kallur who ran 12.65 in 2005 but in total this year six of the nine athletes on the starting list have a faster personal best than that time. Of those six Lolo Jones is the fastest with 12.43, followed by Ginnie Crawford (12.45), Felice Perdita (12.46), Dawn Harper (12.48), Danielle Carruthers (12.56) and Kellie Wells (12.58).
Premium and statue for stadium record
The organisers of the FBK-Games will award, from this year on, a bronze statue of Fanny Blankers-Koen, designed by Oldenzaalse artist Antoinette Ruiter, and a bonus of 2500 euro’s for every improvement of a stadium record.
Organisers for the IAAF