When you are the two time World Champion, plus the world record holder at 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters, you have alot of athletes gunning for you. Witness this 10,000 meters, where even Bekele's teammate challenged him with six hundred meters to go!
With 22 of the 24 field at the line ( Daniel Galvan of Mexico and Hasan Mahboob of
Bahrain did not start), the race got off at a smarter pace that expected. Zersenay Tadesse of Eritrea, sixth in Helsinki, took the lead, taking the first kilometer in 2:44.15. On his shoulder were Sileshi Sihine, Kenenisa Bekele, Gebre-egziaber Gebremariam and Tola Tadesse, all of Ethiopia. Also in attendance were Martin Irungu Mathathi, Josephat Muchuri Ndambiri, and Josephat Kiprono Menjo, all of Kenya, with Abdi Abdirhaman, the U.S. 10k champ in this group.
In the nearly 90 degree conditions, the pace was hurting. Gebre-egziabher Gebremariam lead the group through 2,000 meters in 5:35 (2:48) pace.
Then, Zersenay Tadesse of Eritrea took over. Tadessa upped the ante, hitting 3k in
8:12.93 (2:37), four kilometers in 10:57.82 (2:45) and 5,000 meters in 13;42.98 (2:45).
Kenenisa Bekele floats, and he assesses all around. The Ethiopians run like a bike team, watching out for their teammates and for the Kenyans. The Kenyan squad followed and Abdi Abdirhaman was the only other one in attendance.
Dathan Ritzenhein and Galen Rupp lead a second group, as runners began to fall off the back of pack one.
Tadesse began a very long drive, reminiscent of Carlos Lopes 's 5,000 meter drive in 1976 in Montreal. But, just like it did not work for Lopes, in droping Viren, at least in Lopes case, he would medal.
As Tadesse lead, through six thousand meters, 16:28.83 (2:46), 7,000 meters in 19:12.74 (2:44), and 8,000 meters in 21:54.58 (2:42), the pack was down to nine, but it was a dangerous pack.
Martin Irungu Mathathi of Kenya took over the pace chores through 9,000 meters,
hitting 24:35.57. At this point, Boniface Kiprop of Uganda felll off the pace. Next, it was Josephat Kiprono of Kenya.
Abdi Abdirhaman, who had looked so good, started to fade with a little more than two laps to go, as Sileshi Sihine took the chores and began to push the pace to near sixty seconds per lap. First, Gebre-egziabher Gerbremariam fell off the pace, then Josephat Ndambiri dropped back, then Zersenay Tadesse, who had lead Sihine, Bekele and Mathathi for much of kilometer eight, as he had led for the previous five kilometers, faded, taking fourth place.
Just after Sileshi Sihine pushed the pace, Kenenisa Bekele faltered, with Mathathi still in attendence. Bekele seemed to have to truly work at about six hundred meters, and as they hit the last lap, Sileshi Sihine was in control. It seemed like Sihine could feel the possible break and was pushing hard.
Bekele called his reserves, moved up on Sihine and with 200 meters to go, took off, defending his titles from Helsinki and Paris, running 27:05.90 for first--his seasonal best. Sileshi Sihine took the silver in 27:09.03 and the bold Martin Irungu Mathathi of Kenya was third in 27:12.17.
In fourth, improving from his sixth in Helsinki was Zersenay Tadesse of Eritrea in 27;21.37. Josephat Muchuri Ndambiri of Kenya was fifth in 27:31.41. Gebre-egziabher Gebremariam of Ethiopia took sixth in 27:44.58.
Abdi Abdirahman of the U.S. took seventh in 27:56.62, tying the best U.S performance by Todd Williams in 1995 in Goteborg. Josephat Kiprono Menjo of
Kenya was eighth in 28:25.67. Dathan Ritzenheim of the U.S. was ninth in 28:28.59,
Boniface Kiprop of Kenya was ninth in 28:30.99 and Galen Rupp of the U.S. was eleventh in 28:41.71.
Eighteen of twenty two starters finished. Sihine took the last 800 meters under 1:55, last four hundred meters in 56, with the last 200 meters just over 27.4 seconds for Bekele!
The drive tells the story. The first half was covered in 13:34 and the second half in 13:31!
For related articles for August 27, 2007: http://osaka2007.iaaf.org/news/kind=2/newsid=40789.html#osaka+2007+highlights+day
For the complete results of August 27, 2007: http://osaka2007.iaaf.org/results/bydate.html#racedate=08-27-2007
For complete coverage by American Track & Field magazine:
For the digital version of American Track & Fields' Resource Guide 2007, including
the 32 pp History of the World Championships, 1983-2005, please click on: http://www.flipseekllc.com/ATFguide.html