16 SEP 2006 General News Athens, Greece

Supreme Shaheen - IAAF World Cup in Athletics

Saif Saaeed Shaheen wins the 5000m in Athens (AFP / Getty Images)Saif Saaeed Shaheen wins the 5000m in Athens (AFP / Getty Images) © Copyright

Almost any race which includes double World 3000m Steeplechase Saif Saaeed Shaheen (ASI-QAT) is likely to be both enjoyable to watch and exciting. This 5000m 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 more. 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 for the IAAF

Click here to read Reports of ALL (20) Events contested today in Athens at the 10th IAAF World Cup in Athletics