22nd Berliner Wasserbetriebe 5 x 5 km TEAM-Relay from 7 until 9 June 2023

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Golden League: Bekele runs fourth fastest time ever in Paris 5,000 metres


The highlight of the running events in the first Golden League Meeting in Paris were the men’s 5000 metres.  Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia) intended to break his own world record (12:37.35). After a false start and another cancelled start the field finally went off. But in front of about 70,000 spectators in the Stade de France it didn’t work for Kenenisa Bekele. Clocking 12:40.18 minutes the 10,000 m Olympic Champion reached the finish line in the fourth best time ever at 5,000 m. He himself was faster only once last year, when he ran the world record in Hengelo.

„I am really happy. This stadium is very special for me. In 2003 I became world champion here at the 10.000 m and I got the bronze medal at the 5.000 m as well. I wanted to break the world record tonight but it was a little windy and cold. I felt the audience behind me. That was great. It could have been better if I had beaten the record but I am not sad. I don’t think I’ll run the 5,000 m in Helsinki. I will concentrate on the 10,000 metres”, said Kenenisa Bekele after his race.

Until the 3,000 m mark he was on world record course. Martin Keino (Kenya) had been the first pacemaker. He passed 1,000 m in 2:30.11 minutes. Then Shadrack Korir (Kenya) took the lead and reached 2,000 m in 5:03.92 minutes. But shortly after, Bekele was on his own. For some time he had Abebe Dinkesa (Ethiopia/12:55.58), who finished second in the end, in the back. Bekele reached 3,000 m in 7:32.71 minutes, but 1,000 m later he had slowed down and was out of his world record schedule (10:08.18). Third place was taken by Egziabher Gebremariam (Ethiopia) in 12:58.60 minutes.

Abraham Chebii wasn’t allowed to start in Paris. It was here, were the Kenyan had beaten Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) at the 5,000 m race two years ago. A week later he won again at this distance but he beat not only Gebrselassie but Bekele as well. Since then Bekele seems to have a lot of respect of Abraham Chebii and obviously tries to influence organisers to omit the Kenyan. In Paris, a bidding city for the Olympics 2012, it has worked. The French have forgotten about the Olympic spirit in this case.

In the women’s 3,000 m race Edith Masai (Kenya) ran the fastest time of the year. She ran 8:31.27 minutes and improved Meseret Defar’s (Ethiopia) result by two seconds. Jane Wanjiku was the pace maker. She covered the first 1,000 m in 2:53.21 minutes. In the last 300 meters Edith Masai forced the pace rapidly and left her competitors behind. Isabella Ochichi was second with 8:33.59 minutes while Joanne Pavey (Great Britain/8:34.66) took third. “I am happy and I hope that I will run faster in future”, Edith Masai said.

The 800 meter race was won by WilliamYiampoy of Kenya in 1:45.98 minutes but right behind him was South Africa’s Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (1:46.00). Third was the winner of the Kenyan trials, Wilfried Bungei (1:46.25).

In the 3,000 m steeplechase there was a triple triumph for Kenya: Olympic Champion Ezekiel Kemboi won in 8:09.14 minutes, while Wesley Kiprotich (8:09.46) was second and Kipkirui Misoi (8:10.02) took third. The Kenyan trials’ winner Daniel Komen Kipchirchir won the 1,500 meters in 3:30.01 minutes. Second was Bernard Lagat (3:30.64) who recently switched nationality from Kenya to the US. Third was Mehdi Baala (France/3:30.80).

The women’s 800 meter race was won by Swetlana Cherkasova (Russia) in 1:57.52 minutes. Zulia Calatayud (Cuba/1:58.37) and Maria Mutola (Mozambique/1:58.96) took the next places. There was a victory from Olga Jegorowa (Russia), the 5,000 m World Champion of 2001, in the 1,500 m. She won in 4:01.85 while Hind Dehiba (France/4:03.05) was second and Natalja Yevdokimova (Russia/4:03.59) third.

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