old Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia won another World title, his first in the 5000m distance, but it didn’t come easy this time.
It was the Ethiopian champion himself taking the lead in the race which turned out to be a very slow one. Bekele reached 400m in 64 seconds and then slowed down to 2:20.32 at 800m and 2:54.35 1000m. With the pack close together of course Bekele got the 2000m split too in 5:34.13 with Kenyan Joseph Ebuya just a hundredth behind at this stage.
Another Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge briefly took the lead after 2000m followed by two other countrymen Ebuya and Vincent Chepkok with Bekele in fourth, but the Ethiopian was back in the lead after 2900m reaching 3000m in 8:14.63 for a 2:40.46 last 1000m. Kipchoge again went to the front shortly after the 3000m split, but Bekele was back there after 3600m now accelerating quickly.
Bekele’s split for 4000m was 10:52.22 for a significantly faster last 1000m 2:37.51. Bekele made another move with 800m to go and suddenly Kenyan Ebuya stepped aside from the group for no apparent reason after 4250m. At the bell it was still Bekele closely followed by Kipchoge, reigning champion Bernard Lagat of United States, Briton Mo Farah and American Matt Tegenkamp.
Bekele was still in the lead with 200m to go and seemingly running away fron the rest, but things changed at the start of the final straight where Lagat caught the Ethiopian and passed him as well. But when everyone thought Bekele had finally been beaten, the champion came back taking another title with a smile on his face in the end. Bekele who ran the last 1000m in a super fast 2:24.87 and it seemed like this title really made a difference as the double champion was really celebrating with all of his heart after this win.
Bernard Lagat finished in second place capping another great championships for the American with a silver medal in addition to the bronze he won in 1500m. Qatari James Kwalia took the bronze in 13:07.78 with Ugandan Moses Kipsiro close to a surprise medal in a season’s best 13:18.11. Kipchoge was fifth in the end clocking 13:18.95 with Ethiopian Ali Abdosh, who only got to the final because of a successive protest, took the sixth place in 13:19.11. Briton Mo Farah seventh in 13:19.69, another top eight finish for him to go with the sixth place from Osaka 2007. American Matt Tegenkamp, who was close to a medal in Osaka in fourth, took the eighth place here in 13:20.23.
Bekele winning his 24th major championships title became the first man to win a 5000/10000m double in the World championships.
Mirko Jalava for the IAAF