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The 2007 World Champs Men's 10,000m: Bekele Survives Strong Challenge from Sihine and Mathathi
Sihine Silver Again

By LetsRun.com
Aug 27, 2007
*Watch the Race and all of the Worlds on Demand or Live WCSN (It's from the Monday Evening Session)

Who wins Men's 10,000m?

The king still reigns.

With a lap to go in the men's 10,000m, Kenenisa Bekele was in an unfamiliar place, third, having let a slight 2 meter gap open up between him and the second place runner, his compatriot Sileshi Sihine as Kenya's Martin Matathi was in the lead. On the turn, Sihine made his move for the win as both he and Bekele shot past Matathi.

Sihine put distance on Bekele on the backstretch heading into the final 200m. Would the underrated Sihine finally get his due? If it was not for Bekele, Sihine would be an Olympic Champ, a World XC champ, and a World track champ. Instead, he toils in virtual anonymity.

Just when one began to think the unthinkable, Bekele shifted into another gear. He flew by Sihine on the final turn and sprinted for home leaving Sihine way back in his wake. Perhaps, Bekele knew he had it all along, but if he is going to be defeated it definitely will not be on the last lap anytime soon.

It was the 3rd straight 10k title for Bekele and his 14th World and/or Olympic title. Sihine had to settle for the silver for the 4th time in his career.

10,000m Running an African Affair
3000m into the World's 10,000m, it was apparent at least for the time being, long distance running on the track is an African affair. The lead pack of 14 contained the 14 African born runners in the race (including American Abi Abdirahman). The trailing runners were all the non African born runners.

World XC champ Zersenay Tadese did most of the early pacemaking as they were 4:21.52 at 1600m (27:15) pace. The honest pace continued in the 84 degree heat through 5k (13:42.98) as Tadese did most of the pacemaking duties but Ethiopian Gebre-egziabher Gebremariam would come to the front occasionally.

The pack was down to 10 at 5k, but Hasan Mahboob of Bahrain would soon drop out. At 7k there were 7 contenders for the crown including Abdi Abidarhman, but he fell off the pack on the next lap. Now it was between Bekele, Sihine, Mathathi, Tadese, Gebremariam, and Josephat Muchiri of Kenya. Tadese's honest pace continued its toll the next k and by 8k there were only 4 contenders (Tadese, Bekele, Sihine and Mathathi).

Tadese was still in the lead with a mile to go (23:00.73). With 3 laps (after a 64.92 lap) to go Mathathi went to the front and pushed the pace dropping Tadese. Mathathi would cover the 23rd lap in a quick 61.12 as Sihine stayed on his heels but a slight gap opened to Bekele. The pace lagged a little the next lap (63.22), but Mathathi and Sihine were still clear of Bekele at the bell. Bekele was clearly was within striking distance and if you just looked at the results you might think this was another easy win for him. That was far from the case as Sihine put up a brave fight but perhaps kicked too soon.

Bekele told the IAAF afterwards how tough a race it was. "I was tired. But after a moment, my body started to recover a bit, and when the other guy (Mathathi)took the lead, I encouraged Sileshi to go after him. If I could have, I would have...I used everything I had to come back and when I caught Sileshi, of course I had to pass him". Bekele covered the final lap in roughly 55.5 to get the win.

Americans 7, 9, 11
American Abdi Abdirahman had another strong effort and finished in 7th. Dathan Ritzenhein and Galen Rupp were both a lap down but ended up beating everyone in the second pack and moving up past a few guys who died badly off the first pack and who dropped out to finish 9th and 11th respectively.

USATF released these quotes from the Americans afterwards. Abdi Abdirahman (Tucson, Ariz.): "It went ok up until about five laps to go. I wasn't hurting, but I started getting blisters on my heels."

Galen Rupp (Portland, Ore.): "Felt ok coming into this. Dathan and I were working together; I just didn't hold up my end of the deal. This race shows you how hard you have to work. I didn't have the greatest of days, but this was a good experience. Hopefully I can improve on this next year."

Dathan Ritzenhein (Boulder, Colo.): "I have to go back and look at my training to see what I can do differently. I didn't think anybody would take it out hard tonight. I was pretty shocked that it went out that way."

Former NCAA champion, Simon Bairu of Canada dropped out 7 minutes in and grabbed his lower left leg.

*Watch the Race and all of the Worlds on Demand or Live WCSN (It's from the Monday Evening Session)
1 531 Kenenisa Bekele ETH 27:05.90 (SB)
2 539 Sileshi Sihine ETH 27:09.03 .
3 776 Martin Irungu Mathathi KEN 27:12.17 .
4 499 Zersenay Tadese ERI 27:21.37 .
5 778 Josephat Muchiri Ndambiri KEN 27:31.41 .
6 535 Gebre-egziabher Gebremariam ETH 27:44.58 .
7 1082 Abdihakem Abdirahman USA 27:56.62 .
8 777 Josphat Kiprono Menjo KEN 28:25.67 .
9 1132 Dathan Ritzenhein USA 28:28.59 (SB)
10 1065 Boniface Kiprop UGA 28:30.99 .
11 1136 Galen Rupp USA 28:41.71 .
12 755 Kensuke Takezawa JPN 28:51.69 .
13 540 Tola Tadesse ETH 28:51.75 .
14 832 Alejandro Suárez MEX 28:52.19 .
15 1062 Wilson Kipkemei Busienei UGA 29:24.72 (SB)
16 1040 Dickson Marwa Mkami TAN 29:25.91 .
17 746 Kazuhiro Maeda JPN 29:48.17 .
18 875 Michael Aish NZL 30:34.16 .
. 815 Khalid El Amri MAR DNF .
. 418 Simon Bairu CAN DNF .
. 916 Ahmad Hassan Abdullah QAT DNF .
. 925 Essa Ismail Rashed QAT DNF .
. 407 Hasan Mahboob BRN DNS .
. 828 David Galván MEX DNS .

1000m 499 Zersenay Tadese ERI 2:44.15
2000m 535 Gebre-egziabher Gebremariam ETH 5:27.32
3000m 499 Zersenay Tadese ERI 8:12.93
4000m 499 Zersenay Tadese ERI 10:57.82
5000m 499 Zersenay Tadese ERI 13:42.98
6000m 499 Zersenay Tadese ERI 16:28.83
7000m 499 Zersenay Tadese ERI 19:12.74
8000m 499 Zersenay Tadese ERI 21:54.58
9000m 776 Martin Irungu Mathathi KEN 24:35.57

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