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IAAF World Indoor Championships (1st day): Bekele, Shaheen, Kipchoge in 3.000 m final

2006-03-11

Kenenisa Bekele vor Kipchoge, Craigg und Shaheen.
© Jiro Mochizuki/Photo Run

There will be a great 3,000 m final at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Moscow. Among others Ethiopian 5,000 m world record holder Kenenisa Bekele and former Kenyan Saif Saaeed Shaheen (Qatar), the 3,000 m steeplechase world record holder, qualified for the final on Sunday. There were no surprises at Friday’s prelims.  

 

In this 3,000 m final there will also be the fastest Kenyan track distance runner, Eliud Kipchoge, who won his prelim in 7:52.57 minutes slightly ahead of Kenenisa Bekele’s brother, Tariku. Third was Shaheen in 7:52.85 minutes. In fourth place finished the Irish Ian Alistair Cragg, an athlete who beat Kenenisa Bekele during last year’s indoor season. „I think the Bekele brothers will be working together,“ said Shaheen, while Kenenisa Bekele explained: „The best of the world will be in the final – I think Shaheen and Kipchoge are my toughest competitors. It won’t be about the time, it will be about medals.”   

 

Defending champion Maria Mutola (Mozambique) won her 800m prelim in 2:02.33 minutes. The 33 year-old has already won six 800 m World Indoor Championship titles during her career. Mainly the two Russians Olga Kotlyarova and Natalya Tsyganova could be threatening Mutola.  

 

Olympic Champion Yuri Borzakovskiy started his home match with a prelim victory in 1:48.08 minutes. The hardest competitor of the Russian is probably the Kenyan Wilfred Bungei, who also qualified easily for the next round on Saturday. Defending Champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (South Africa) won his prelim and will start in the semi finals as well. In the 1,500 m final the European Indoor Champion of 2005, Ivan Heshko (Ukraine), will try to surprise Kenyan Daniel Kipchirchir Komen on Saturday. 

 

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