Unheralded Ethiopian Jeilan Nips Mo Farah In Thrilling 10,000m Final
Kenenisa Bekele Drops Out At 6k, Rupp "Runs Out Of Gas" For 7th
August 28, 2011
Daegu, South Korea
Using a big come-from-behind kick, virtual unknown Ibrahim Jeilan stole the show from Mo Farah and a star-studded men's 10,000m field.
The pre-race anticipation centered on stars Kenenisa Bekele, Farah, Zersenay Tadese, Imane Merga, Sileshi Sihine and Galen Rupp. But when it counted, the 22-year-old former world junior 10,000m and cross-country champ Jeilan refused to be overlooked. Going for glory as the clear race favorite, Mo Farah assumed the lead with around 600m to go and opened up a sizeable gap with a huge surge. By 250 to go, Jeilan started to eat into Mo's lead, passing Farah deep into the final straight as the near capacity crowd roared. Merga was five seconds back for bronze while Tadese, who did much of the leading in the fartlek-style championship race, finished out of the medals in 4th.
|Kenenisa Bekele talks to reporters after dropping out of the Daegu 10,000m.|
Bekele DNFs, Suffers First-Ever 10,000m Defeat
Surprisingly, reigning world champion Kenenisa Bekele only lasted 6km before dropping off the pack and dropping out of the race. In his illustrious career, this WC loss marks the first time Bekele has been beaten over 10,000m at any track meet. Bekele, who hadn't raced for almost two years, would say later while talking to reporters that his right hip and hamstring plagued him both in his training and in tonight's race. When asked about his first loss and looking forward to 2012 London, the 29-year-old Bekele answered, "I am glad I came, I wanted to try. I was out for two years. The injury is now better, but I am not fit enough. What will I do now? Just keep training."
Distance World, Meet Ethiopian 10,000m World Champ Ibrahim Jeilan
It goes without saying that Jeilan's win is a huge surprise. The men's 10,000m was one of the most highly-anticipated events of the meet for distance fans, and in our prediction contest, we did not even list Jeilan as an option for fans to pick. Clearly, some fans knew better than we did, but still only 4 fans picked "other" to win, while over 1,500 picked either Farah, Bekele or Merga to win (see the fan predictions below). Farah, to his credit, noted Jeilan as a world junior cross-country champ.
There is no doubt that the 22-year-old Jeilan (like all world champions) is a talent. As a 17-year-old youth in 2006, he ran 13:09 and 27:02, with the 27:02 being a new youth world record. He also captured the world junior 10,000 crown that year and in 2008, he won the world junior cross-country title. It's hard to find someone with better young credentials than that.
That being said, life as a pro can be difficult. An American with those credentials would be looking at a life of luxury with a six-figure shoe deal. An Ethiopian with those times is hard pressed to make a good living with those type of credentials, as the shoe deals often don't amount to much.
Jeilan, who speaks excellent English, spoke with emotion as to how disappointed he was to be left off the 2008 and 2009 Ethiopian Olympic and World Championships teams:
I qualified for (the) Olympic games and didn't get to go, I was really sorry for that. I was feeling very angry at that time. Then I qualified for the World Championships in Berlin. I think I was third for that race (in terms of qualifying), also they didn't have me compete at the World Championships. I was very angry. I can't even train in Ethiopia so I had to go somewhere and prepare well to compete in the World Championships ... I prepare to go to Japan to prepare well there. I prepare well, I train well, so I qualify this year, I participate in this race and I become first.
After not garnering favor in Ethiopia in 2009, he largely lived on the US road circuit for the rest of the year, as he was 7th at Carlsbad, 3rd at Peachtree, 3rd at Beach to Beacon, 3rd at Boilermaker, and 10th at Falmouth. There aren't a whole ot other options for an African who "only" ran 13:19 and 27:22 that year on the track.
Probably in many ways out of necessity, Jeilan then moved to Japan to run for the Honda corporate team. The move certainly prolonged his running career, but it's clear Jeilan isn't a big fan of the Japanese training, as he said at one point, "The training in Japan is not good for me."
As an aside, that contradicts a bit what he said above and it also reminds us of American David Morris, who ran 2:09:32 under the Japanese system but never seemed to like it and then never ran faster once he left it.
Regardless, after running well enough to solidify a spot on this year's Ethiopian team, Jeilan returned to his home country to train.
Jeilan had not raced on the European circuit at all this year, but he knew about Mo Farah's lethal kick because he'd seen it on television!!!
Did Mo Farah Kick Too Early?
Mo Farah exhibited the same explosive kick he has shown all year. The only question was did he unleash it too early? In a race that came down to a winning margin of only 0.26 seconds, the tiniest of miscalculations can make a difference.
He took the lead with 600 remaining and then took off with 500m to go and then really blasted it from 400 to 200 to go. On the backstretch, the lead was close to 10 meters and apparently some television commentators thought he had the race in the bank, as his unofficial split from 400-200 to go was 26.4.
By 200m to go, it was clear that Jeilan had rallied and was gaining on Farah, who clearly was maxed out. Coming off the final turn, Farah looked over his shoulder as he knew he didn't have much left. With 60 meters to go, it seemed as if Jeilan might not get there, but he found a final surge and got the victory in very exciting fashion (see race highlights on right).
We had Farah's final 200 in something like 26.9 (he closed in about 53.3, while we had Jeilan in 52.8).
Mo did not feel he went too early, and even if he did, we have to tip our hats to Jeilan for not giving up the quest for gold when he was gapped on the backstretch.
Farah noted history is very favorable to those who run 53 on the final lap. He said, "I believe I ran the last lap in 53 seconds and in any championship (in the past) if you run 53 seconds or there about it would be enough for gold." He admitted to thinking he would win on the final lap. He said, "When I went, I saw the gap. With 300m to go I thought I had the race (won), with 150m to go I could see the gap closing and with 100m to go Jeilan was right there on my shoulder and with 60m to go I tried to dig in ... but unfortunately I just didn't have anything left in my legs."
Kenyans Finish Out Of Medals
Kenyans Martin Mathathi (5th), Peter Kirui (6th) and Paul Tanui (9th), factored prominently in the race but could not kick with the top Ethiopians and Farah. Rounding out the top pre-race contenders, Sileshi Sihine, the multi-time WC and Olympic medallist, finished one spot behind Rupp in 8th.
Rupp Comes Close, But Settles For Edging Sihine For 7th
Galen Rupp said after the race that he "just ran out of gas" when referring to the final two laps. Rupp was in perfect position throughout, but when the kicking started, he lost ground to the eventual medal contenders and he was not a factor on the final lap.
*See Rupp's Post-Race Comments Here Or Embedded Below
Teg And Bauhs Find Silver Lining
American Matt Tegenkamp lost touch with the front pack by 3,200 (8:52.99), and finished 10th in 28:41. The third American, first-time outdoor Worlds competitor Scotty Bauhs, battled behind the front pack with Rui Silva and Yuki Sato to finish 14th in 29:03.
Our Takes With Help From The Message Boards:
*W(ho)TF is Ibrahim Jeilan?!?! He's an "unknown" Ethiopian former world junior champion who ran 27:02 as a 17-year-old before moving to Japan and back as he felt he was unjustly left off Ethiopian national squads.
*MO FARAH CHOKED IN 10K Considering he closed a pretty fast 10k in 53 seconds, he definitely did not choke, but looking back, he would probably make a tiny tactical adjustment.
*10,000M live update thread The highly-anticipated race definitely lived up to the hype with lots of drama to the final strides.
*Why does everyone think Farah choked?
Splits And Results Below
Full Post-Race Press Conference With Medallists At Bottom (Jeilan Speaks Good English, click here to only watch his comments on being passed over for selection and having to go to Japan)
Ibrahim Jeilan His Shocking Win (He Speaks Good English)
Mo Farah on Coming Up Just Short
Kenenisa Bekele After Dropping Out Of Worlds
Galen Rupp After 7th Place Finish
Matt Tegenkamp On His First Worlds 10,000m And 2012
Scott Bauhs On His First Track Worlds
|Full Press Conference With Medallists |
(Click here for portion with Jeilan talking about Japan)
LRC Predictions: Shocking proof that even the most knowledgeable distance fans in the world didn't see this coming:
|Athlete||Points (1st Place Votes)|
|Mohammed Farah||3621 (884)|
|Kenenisa Bekele||2208 (547)|
|Imane Merga||1326 (133)|
|Zersenay Tadesse||1027 (54)|
|Galen Rupp||442 (8)|
|Sileshi Sihine||146 (13)|
|Moses Ndiema Masai||63 (2)|
|Martin Irungu Mathathi||16 (1)|
|Ibrahim Jeilan Gashu||15 (1)|
|Matt Tegenkamp||12 (0)|
|Abera Kuma||6 (1)|
|Ben St. Lawrence||2 (0)|
|1,600||61.5||Tadese starts pushing pace.|
|5,200||65.8||Tadese leads pack of 11 through 5k in 13:52. Teg off back of lead pack.|
|6,000||63||Bekele drops out.|
|6,400||64||Farah and Rupp move up as pack slims|
|8,000||65||Merga, Tadese, Farah, Sihine, Jeilan, Rupp, Mathathi together.|
|8,800||65||Tadese relinquishes lead to Mathathi.|
|9,600||60.8||Farah takes the lead, Rupp off front pack.|
|10,000||53.1||Jeilan nips Farah in big sprint.|
|5||660||Martin Irungu Mathathi||KEN||27:23.87|
|6||652||Peter Cheruiyot Kirui||KEN||27:25.63||(PB)|
|9||665||Paul Kipngetich Tanui||KEN||27:54.03|
|16||763||Juan Carlos Romero||MEX||29:38.38|
|206||Ali Hasan Mahbood||BRN||DNF|
|1000m||652||Peter Cheruiyot Kirui||KEN||2:57.10|
|4000m||665||Paul Kipngetich Tanui||KEN||11:07.80|
|5000m||652||Peter Cheruiyot Kirui||KEN||13:52.50|
|9000m||660||Martin Irungu Mathathi||KEN||24:46.40|
Offers of interest: Nike Lunar Glide Discount Discounting on this shoe not allowed until recently.