News Archive

News Archive

10.000 m final in Athens: Bekele becomes Gebrselassie’s successor

Kenenisa Bekele is the new Olympic 10.000 m Champion. Once again the Ethiopian

became the successor of his big idol: Haile Gebrselassie. With a breathtaking

last lap of less than 54 seconds Bekele stormed to the gold medal.

The 10,000 m World Champion and world record holder broke the

Olympic record clocking 27:05,10 minutes.

Gebrselassie had been the holder of the record until Friday night with 27:07,34

from Atlanta 1996. Sileshi Sihine (Ethiopia/27:09,39) won the silver medal and

Zersenay Tadesse (Eritrea/27:22,57) took the bronze.

Gebrselassie finished fifth

The attempt of becoming the first runner to win an Olympic 10,000 m gold for

the third time ended in pain for Haile Gebrselassie. After having won the event

in Atlanta and Sydney the 31 year-old now finished fifth. And finally he even

limped off the track.

Haile Gebrselassie should have got a more appropriate farewell from track

running. It was most probably his last race on the track. And he was indeed

celebrated in the Olympic Stadium of Athens as if he had won the race.

“My next goal is indeed the marathon”,

Gebrselassie confirmed, when he limped through the mixed zone of the stadium.

But it is doubtful that this project will go ahead as planned. Gebrselassie

plans to run the Amsterdam Marathon in mid October. That had been quite a close

affair anyway. But now, taking into account his injury, it will probably be

difficult to stick to the marathon training schedule.

Ethiopian federation put pressure on him to run in the Olympic


Originally Haile Gebrselassie did not want to compete in Athens due to problems

with his Achilles tendon in his left foot. But it was understood that the

Ethiopian federation put pressure on him to run in the Olympic final. The

Ethiopian officials wanted their athletes to win all three medals. In the end

this plan did not work – and now they have an injured idol. But

Gebrselassie is not the one who makes accusations. Instead he smiled and said:

I am happy to have run in this race and I am satisfied with the result. I was

not able to respond.”

After a slow start the runners had passed 4,000 metres in 11:15,87 minutes.

Then the three Ethiopians increased the pace and the field broke up. But when

Bekele and Sihine kept the pace fast suddenly Gebrselassie lost contact at

6,000 m (16:34,51). Instead Boniface Kiprop (Uganda), who finally finished

fourth (27:25,48), was behind Bekele and Sihine. While the Kenyans were well

beaten the two Ethiopians suddenly slowed. “We hoped for

Gebrselassie to be able to close the gap again and to run together with us. But

when we realised he was not able to do so we had to go”, Bekele

explained. At this point there was no holding back for the two


See the tip of the Internetteam from real,-