There were twelve men in the field but in reality this turned out to be a battle between just three; two Kenyans Berlin fourth placer Paul Kipsiele Koech and World champion Ezekiel Kemboi, and France’s European record holder Bob Tahri who had been the bronze medallist in Berlin.
This was the order of the race nearly all the way to the bell with Koech, obviously wanting to make-up for missing the podium at the World championships, pushing the pace – 1000m 2:42.30; 2000m 5:25.07 – and Kemboi following a couple metres back with Tahri occasionally coming to the shoulder of the World champion to show this was a three-way and not just an African affair.
At the sound of the bell Kemboi unleashed his expected attack and that was that, or was it, as coming off the final bend Koech tried to counter but he had forgotten the impressive finishing speed that his compatriot had inflicted on the world’s chasers in Berlin and the latter half of this season. Kemboi responded immediately and decisively and with the race buttoned-up eased over the line in 8:04.38.
Koech closed out in 8:05.47, with Tahri a distant third, 8:09.14.
Leading home rest in fourth with a national record was Ethiopia’s Roba Gary, 8:11.32, and Finland’s European champion Jukka Keskisalo in fifth, 8:12.04.
"It was planned to run that fast. I expected an 8:08 race. It was good for me to win once again in a big competition," confirmed Kemboi.
"I will try the 10km, maybe next year and the Marathon in Daegu 2011! I love Greeks. I also won the Olympic title in Athens in 2004. Maybe I am gonna come back on holiday."
Chris Turner for the IAAF