Doha 3000s: Kenenisa Bekele Well Beaten, When Will Vivian Cheruiyot Lose Again?

By LetsRun.com
May 11, 2012

Editor's Note: A full meet recap is now up here.

Coming into Doha the men's and women's 3000m were some of the most anticipated events. Kenenisa Bekele left a lot unanswered while Vivian Cheruiyot got the job done again.

Women's 3000m: In a Race Perfectly Designed for Vivian Cheruiyot to Lose, She Wins

In case you forgot, Vivian Cheruiyot reminded us all in the women's 3000m that she is the best women's distance runner in the World as she held off four time World indoor 3000m champion Meseret Defar to win the women's 3000m in 8:46.44.

Cheruiyot, the double World Champion last year, has not lost a track race since August of 2010. If you were going to design a way for her to lose, this race met all the conditions. 

First track race of the year - check. Drop down in distance - check.  Slow pace- check. Lead on the final lap with a pack of runners including Meseret Defar right on your shoulder -check.

None of it mattered as Cheruiyot managed to stay in front down the entire homestretch to defeat Defar by the slimmest of margins 8:46.44 to 8:46.49. If Meseret Defar can't beat Cheruiyot in this race, what race can she beat her in?

The race itself came down to the final lap.  Early on, Russian rabbit Anna Luchkina did her job, but the only one in the field to go after her was Brit Stephanie Twell. The rest of the field was content to let the pace go slow. The field clearly was not concerned with Twell, who at one point built a 7-second lead, and their lack of concern would prove to be well founded as the pack swallowed up Twell after seven minutes of running.

Cheruiyot was willing to lead at the bell with a slew of runners right behind her including Defar. Cheruiyot held them all off and the undefeated streak continued.

Quick take: The final lap was 60.98 which leaves some room for improvement. Cheruiyot ran 58.6 the last 400 to win the Worlds 5000.

1
KEN
8:46.44
WL
2
ETH
8:46.49
3
KEN
8:47.49
4
ETH
8:48.92
5
KEN
8:50.04
6
KEN
8:50.63
7
KEN
8:51.63
8
KEN
8:52.04
9
BRN
8:54.51
10
KEN
8:56.52
11
KEN
8:57.43
12
ETH
9:00.97
13
GBR
9:01.64
14
NOR
9:10.45
15
ERI
9:11.32
NR
 
RUS
DNF
 
UAE
DNS
 
ETH
DNS
 
UAE
DNS

Intermediate times:
1000m Luchkina, Anna (RUS) 3:01.26
2000m Twell, Stephanie (GBR) 5:55.11

Men's 3000: Kenenisa Bekele Returns & Struggles As Augustine Choge Wins
The men's 3000 was in our minds all about the return of Kenenisa Bekele to the track for a non 10,000 for the first time since 2009. Heading into the race, our thought process was simple. If Bekele was able to win this shorter race, which is by no means his specialty,  against many of the world's best on the verge of this 30th birthday, the rest of the world might as well raise the white flag for the 10,000 at world's as they had no chance.

Well the rest of the world still has a chance as Bekele struggled over the final 1200 meters before rallying a bit to finish seventh in 7:40.00 in a race that was won by Augustine Choge in 7:30.42.

In the early going, Bekele was running in fourth as the runners clicked off a series of 60 and 61 second laps (see Bekele's splits below). However, the pace started to accelerate as the runners approached 1800 and Bekele had trouble matching the increased tempo. He started to move back and at 1800 was  in 6th despite running at 60.74 lap. Once the lead pack got away, Bekele struggle more as he covered the 800 from 1800 to 2600 in the 2:08-9 range.

Well beaten at this point, the one encouraging thing for Bekele fans was he didn't take the easy way out and DNF. He ran a sub 60 last lap and passed a few guys to finish 8th in 7:40.00.

Up front, the race belonged squarely to Augustine Choge. Heading into the last lap, five time world medallist and 2003 World Champion at 5000m, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, was on his heels but a 54.87 gave Choge the victory.  

Unofficially we had Bekele at
1:31.5 at 600
2:31.96 at 1000 (61.5)
3:33.26 at 1400 (61.3)
4:34.00 at 1800 (60.74). 6th place.
5:36.47 at 2200 (62.47),8th place.
5:41-2 (at 2600 (total guess on this one as the camera pulled away (64-5)).
Sub 60 last lap

LRC's Quick Thought: 1. This performance makes us think the odds of Bekele doubling at the Olympics aren't good at all. The speed starts to go for everyone at some point and Bekele is likely to focus on just the 10,000 in our minds. It's worth noting that the commentators said Bekele had said he was purposely doing less training this year to try to stay injury free.

2. This race makes Choge a legitimate medal contender in the 5000 in our minds. While Choge has primarily been a 1,500 guy at the world level the last few years, it needs to be remembered that he ran 12:53.66 for 5000m 7 years ago in 2005. He's already proven that he can't tactically compete at 1,500 at Worlds/Olympics so the 5,000 is a good option for the 3:29.47 1,500 guy.

3. That being said, let's don't get too carried away. No one will remember this race come August. Choge knows how to run fast in May as he ran 7:27.66 for 3rd last year in Doha and he didn't even get to go to Worlds to compete as he was only 7th in the Kenyan 1,500 trials.

Rank Athlete Nation Result
1
KEN
7:30.42
WL
2
KEN
7:31.40
3
UGA
7:31.88
4
KEN
7:32.43
PB
5
KEN
7:33.68
6
KEN
7:38.45
7
ETH
7:40.00
8
ETH
7:40.85
PB
9
DJI
7:42.22
NR
10
TUR
7:42.31
NR
11
KEN
7:49.48
12
QAT
7:51.36
13
ALG
8:21.95
 
ALG
DNF
 
KEN
DNF
 
KEN
DNF

Intermediate times: 1000m Simotwo, Suleiman Kipses (KEN) 2:30.98
2000m Ndiwa, Remmy Limo (KEN) 5:02.94

 

Editor's Note: A full meet recap is now up here.

Quantcast


Tell a friend about this article
(Dont worry we won't email your friend(s) again. We send them a 1 time email)
Enter their email address(es), separated by a comma.
Enter your name:

Don't Worry: We
Back to Main Front Page
Questions, comments or suggestions?Please email the LetsRun.com staff at [email protected]


Back To Top