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2007 World Championships in Athletics Osaka, Japan

2007 11th IAAF World Championships - Osaka - Men's 5000m



Host City: Osaka, Japan Format: First round (First 5 & 5 fastest to final) (Aug 30)
Dates: 24 August - 2 September 2007
Nations participating: 200
Athletes participating: 1,978
    Main venue: Nagai Stadium
Overview by IAAF   nagai stadium01 
The first heat brought a shock when both Kenyan representatives were outside the automatic qualifying zone in what was a slow race in sapping conditions (29°C, 71% humidity). Former champion Kipchoge won the second heat in 13:33.37, but his compatriots did not advance. Logic dictated that for any athlete to beat the new 1500m champion, it would be necessary to take the sting out of his finish. However the tempo was slow from the start, the opening lap taking 68.41. The first three kilometres of the final saw that of the finalists hoping to beat Lagat, none did enough to test the American. An opening kilometre of 3:00.35 from defending champion Limo, was followed by sections of 2:46.72, 2:49.92 and 2:45.47. The lap to the bell took 58.4 with Farah leading. Kipchoge took over with 200 to go, as Lagat cruised comfortably in fifth place. The American finally took the lead with 80m to go, and held off Kipchoge by a metre, to become the first athlete to win the World 1500/5000 double. Lagat had run his last 400 in 52.3, and his last kilometre in 2:23.0. “That was good for me.“ he said “Everybody waited until the last lap. I think I ran a smart race. I waited until the last 100.”
 The men's 5000 metres at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics was held at the Nagai Stadium on 30 August and 2 September.
  5000m 2 September

Event report: men's 5,000m Final

Bernard Lagat celebrates winning 5000m gold in Osaka

Had Bernard Lagat ordered up a race plan to ensure that he would win the 5,000m gold medal here, and thus become the first man in World Championships history to complete a 1,500-5,000 double, then the American could not have laid it out better.

Somehow, the Kenya-born Lagat, his end-of-race speed renowned, found himself surrounded by 14 other finallists who must have believed that they could outsprint the miler. They were all wrong.

Off an early pace so slow that the women marathoners in the morning were sometimes almost as quick, Lagat was able to produce a 52.89sec last lap and the track savvy to close the door of the inside lane on 2003 winner Eliud Kipchoge, and take the title with 13min 45.87sec, comfortably the slowest winning time in this event. Kipchoge clocked 13:46.00 and Moses Kipsiro, of Uganda, in bronze medal position with 13:46.75, was just ahead of a second American, Matt Tegenkamp.

"I was surprised that the pace was so slow," Lagat said. "That was good for me. Everybody waited until the last lap. I think I ran a smart race. I waited until the last 100."

Thus Lagat carves his name into sport's annals alongside his hero Hicham El Guerrouj, who achieved the formidable double at the 2004 Olympic Games, and the great Flying Finn, Paavo Nurmi, who did the same at the 1924 Paris Games. But it is unlikely that anyone will remember the race that secured it.

Spain's Jesus Espana led the race out (someone had to) through the first two laps in 2:23.98. Then Kenya's defending champion, Benjamin Limo, took a hand, and slowly cranked the pace up slightly through to a 62sec fifth lap, reaching 2km in 5:47.07. Then came a 64sec sixth lap. Behind him, Australia's big hope Craig Mottram, the World Cup 3,000m champion, and Kipchoge lined up. Lagat, all the time, shadowed in fourth or fifth place, waiting for someone to do something. Anything.

But his rivals opted not to. When Limo stepped sideways, off the front, in the home straight, everyone else formed an orderly queue at walking pace behind Mottram as if they were waiting for a teller in one of Osaka's downtown banks.

Mottram looked ill at ease, even at this point, as the third kilometre was completed in 8:36.99. Soon, it would be the turn of the two Ethiopians in the field, Tariku Bekele, brother of the 10,000m champion, and Abraham Cherkos, to bustle their way towards the front. And then do nothing.

Mo Farah, Britain's European silver medallist, forced his way to the shoulder of the reluctant leader, Bekele. But such was the congestion, with the leaders spread into the third lane, that with just over three laps to run, as Kipsiro jostled his way to the front, there was a clash of legs between Ali Abdalla and the Briton, who kept his feet well and avoided a possible pile up. Lagat, of course, continued to enjoy his armchair ride towards glory.

After laps of 66.38 and then 64.84, the 800m to go mark was reached and among the first to be dropped was Mottram. Now Farah unfolded his telescopic stride at the front, taking the field to the bell in 12:53.08, but with Lagat and Kipchoge poised. The last-lap duel was underway, with the former champion gunning it.

Lagat waited. And waited, and when he struck, he struck hard. Kipchoge tried to counterattack off the last bend, but Lagat, studying the big screen at the far end of the stadium as he raced to the line, made sure that there was no where for his Kenyan rival to slip through on the inside lane.

"I think I made a mistake in the final 50m. I wish the finish had been 10m farther - I would have won the race," Kipchoge said.

Lagat attributed his inspiration for the double to El Guerrouj's Athens feat - "I wanted to do the same, because he inspired me. He is a wonderful man and a friend" - and saying he only decided to attempt the double after the London Grand Prix last month, where he'd won the 1,500m.

"This double means a lot to me," he said, and smiled broadly when told of the final lap split. "That is awesome."

Oh, and as for the rest of the world's 5,000m runners, they had better start thinking about their tactics ahead of Beijing next year. "For the Olympics," Lagat said, "all options are possible."

Osaka 2007 News Team/sd

1 Bernard Lagat USA 12 Dec 74 13.45.87
2 Eliud Kipchoge KEN 5 Nov 84 13.46.00
3 Moses Kipsiro UGA 2 Sep 86 13.46.75
4 Matt Tegenkamp USA 19 Jan 82 13.46.78
5 Tariku Bekele ETH 21 Jan 87 13.47.33
6 Mo Farah GBR 23 Mar 83 13.47.54
7 Jesus Espana ESP 21 Aug 78 13.50.55
8 Abreham Cherkos ETH 23 Sep 89 13.51.01
9 Felix Kibore QAT 18 Feb 88 13.51.18
10 Ali Abdalla Afringi ERI 2 Nov 82 13.52.69
11 Adam Goucher USA 18 Feb 75 13.53.17
12 Hicham Bellani MAR 15 Sep 79 13.55.44
13 Craig Mottram AUS 18 Jun 80 13.56.24
14 Juan Luis Barrios MEX 24 Jun 83 13.59.86
15 Benjamin Limo KEN 23 Aug 74 14.01.25
  Heats 30 August

Event report: Men's 5,000m Heats

The first casualty of the 5,000m heats was Sileshi Sihine, the 10,000m silver medallist and among the favourites for this crown, who withdrew on the morning of the race due to "exhaustion", according to Ethiopian officials.

Announcing the decision, Ethiopian team technical leader Dube Jillo said, “Sileshi ran a very difficult race in the 10,000m. That took a lot of effort out of him and he feels that he is not up to the challenge of a heat and a final in the 5,000m.”

The qualifying criteria for Sunday's final was first five in the two heats plus the five fastest losers, so there must have been a lot of runners  in the first heat over-confident in the ability of their finishing kicks.

The bulk of the pack dawdled through the opening 10 laps, content to sit back and watch as Erik Sjoqvist, of Sweden, opted to run in splendid isolation.

Sjoqvist built up an 80m lead within the first kilometres, which he maintained until less than 700m to go, when he was swallowed up by the group and spat out the other side. Bold, but hardly effective.

The last-lap burn up, after the 4km mark had been reached by Sjoqvist in 11:10.67, was won by Tariku Bekele, barely a stride and less than half a second ahead of Spain's Jesus Espana, Bernard Lagat, "fresh" from his 1,500m victory the night before, and Morocco's Hicham Bellani.

But with the heat being won in 13min 46.42sec (perhaps just the sort of easy leg-stretcher that Lagat might have liked), those outside the top five would have a futile wait to confirm that they had not done enough work to get to race again in Osaka.

Because, allied with their running ability, the runners in the second heat exhibited some intelligence, ensuring the pace was quick enough throughout (2:45 per kilometre) to get 10 of them through behind Kenya's 2003 World champion Eliud Kipchoge's 13:33.37.

The end-of-race burn up was all a bit too quick for Germany's European 10,000m champion, Jan Fischen, and Bahrain's Aadam Ismaeel Khamis.

But those going through in the top five included Abraham Cherkos (ETH) and Craig Mottram (AUS), with Britain's Mo Farah (a European silver medallist last year) and defending champion Benjamin Limo (KEN), among the fastest losers, the slowest of whom, Felix Kibore (QAT), in 13:46.23, was quicker than everyone in heat one.

Osaka 2007 News Team/sd

  Heat 1
1 Tariku Bekele ETH 21 Jan 87 13.46.42 Q
2 Jesus Espana ESP 21 Aug 78 13.46.45 Q
3 Bernard Lagat USA 12 Dec 74 13.46.57 Q
4 Hicham Bellani MAR 15 Sep 79 13.46.64 Q
5 Moses Kipsiro UGA 2 Sep 86 13.46.86 Q
6 Khoudir Aggoune ALG 5 Jan 81 13.47.36
7 Isaac Songok KEN 25 Apr 84 13.47.42
8 Ahmed Baday MAR 12 Jan 74 13.47.83
9 Joseph Ebuya KEN 20 Jun 87 13.48.21
10 Tonny Wamulwa ZAM 6 Aug 89 13.50.95
11 Bekana Daba ETH 29 Jul 88 13.53.16
12 Charles Koech QAT 29 Dec 89 13.53.36
13 Alistair Cragg IRL 13 Jun 80 13.59.45
14 Erik Sjoqvist SWE 4 Dec 72 14.05.69
15 Yuu Mitsuya JPN 18 Dec 84 14.07.38
Dan Mallam Kabirou NIG 14 Oct 78 DNF
  Heat 2
1 Eliud Kipchoge KEN 5 Nov 84 13.33.37 Q
2 Abreham Cherkos ETH 23 Sep 89 13.33.62 Q
3 Matt Tegenkamp USA 19 Jan 82 13.35.05 Q
4 Craig Mottram AUS 18 Jun 80 13.36.18 Q
5 Juan Luis Barrios MEX 24 Jun 83 13.37.12 Q
6 Mo Farah GBR 23 Mar 83 13.39.13 Q
7 Benjamin Limo KEN 23 Aug 74 13.41.47 q
8 Adam Goucher USA 18 Feb 75 13.41.65 q
9 Ali Abdalla Afringi ERI 2 Nov 82 13.42.00 q
10 Felix Kibore QAT 18 Feb 88 13.46.23 q
11 Dieudonne Disi RWA 24 Apr 78 13.47.30 q
12 Jan Fitschen GER 2 May 77 13.48.39
13 Adam Ismail Khamis BRN 12 Feb 89 13.50.30
14 Mourad Marofit MAR 26 Jan 82 13.54.65
15 Takayuki Matsumiya JPN 21 Feb 80 13.54.95
16 Stephen Kiprotich UGA 18 Apr 89 14.04.22
17 Cleveland Forde GUY 3 Apr 85 15.25.12
18 Aung Thi Ha MYA 12 Nov 81 15.41.08

Heat 1 30 AUG 2007 20:45

1 810 Hicham Bellani MAR MAR 12:55.52 13:30.35
2 828 David Galván MEX MEX 13:12.18 13:12.18
3 534 Bekana Daba ETH ETH 13:06.52 13:06.52
4 748 Yu Mitsuya JPN JPN 13:18.32 13:18.32
5 1067 Moses Ndiema Kipsiro UGA UGA 13:01.88 13:12.51
6 1113 Bernard Lagat USA USA 12:59.22 13:30.73
7 779 Isaac Kiprono Songok KEN KEN 12:48.66 13:15.70
8 886 Nader Almassri PLE PLE 14:24.81  
9 924 Charles Bett Koech QAT QAT 13:24.26 13:24.26
10 506 Jesús España ESP ESP 13:15.44 13:30.24
11 305 Khoudir Aggoune ALG ALG 13:10.16 13:15.79
12 809 Ahmed Baday MAR MAR 13:03.82 13:03.82
13 1165 Tonny Wamulwa ZAM ZAM 13:40.78 14:16.34
14 766 Joseph Ebuya KEN KEN 12:58.03 13:09.01
15 683 Alistair Ian Cragg IRL IRL 13:07.10 13:07.10
16 1032 Erik Sjöqvist SWE SWE 13:23.24 13:25.37
17 532 Tariku Bekele ETH ETH 12:53.81 13:04.05
18 869 Kabirou Dan Mallam NIG NIG 15:15.29  

Heat 2 30 AUG 2007 21:05

1 533 Abreham Cherkos ETH ETH 12:54.19 13:05.83
2 1143 Matthew Tegenkamp USA USA 13:04.90 13:27.06
3 498 Ali Abdalla ERI ERI 13:10.71 13:23.65
4 844 U Aung Thura MYA MYA 14:33.69 14:48.07
5 774 Benjamin Kipkoech Limo KEN KEN 12:54.99 13:16.66
6 1101 Adam Goucher USA USA 13:10.00 13:31.50
7 768 Eliud Kipchoge KEN KEN 12:46.53 13:02.10
8 406 Aadam Ismaeel Khamis BRN BRN 13:19.27 13:19.27
9 588 Mo Farah GBR GBR 13:09.40 13:40.19
10 620 Jan Fitschen GER GER 13:14.85 13:14.85
11 827 Juan Luis Barrios MEX MEX 13:11.37 13:11.37
12 923 Felix Kikwai Kibore QAT QAT 13:20.89 13:20.89
13 747 Takayuki Matsumiya JPN JPN 13:13.20 13:13.20
14 983 Dieudonné Disi RWA RWA 13:38.12  
15 663 Cleveland Forde GUY GUY 14:07.08 15:19.48
16 1066 Stephen Kiprotich UGA UGA 13:27.40 13:27.40
17 340 Craig Mottram AUS AUS 12:55.76 13:04.97
18 821 Mourad Marofit MAR MAR 13:15.87 13:15.87

Event preview: Men’s 5,000m

After coming so desperately close to his first World title in the 10,000m final on Monday night, Sileshi Sihine has special reason to want a taste of gold in the men’s 5,000m final on Sunday.

If it wasn’t for his fierce rival and fellow Ethiopian, Kenenisa Bekele, Sihine would be regarded as one of the greatest distance runners of all time. Indeed, he is one of the greatest. It’s just that Bekele’s been greater.

Just look at Sihine’s record at World Championships alone: 2003, 10,000m bronze; 2005, 5,000m silver, 10,000m silver; 2007, 10,000m silver. And that’s without mentioning the silvers he picked up at the Olympics in 2004 and the World Juniors in 2002, both over 10,000m.

The good news for him is that Bekele won’t be in the race this time. And if you disregard the world record-holder, Sihine is the fastest man in the world this year thanks to his victory at the Golden Gala in Rome in 13:01.46. He also holds the fifth fastest time ever.

The bad news is that there’ll be another Bekele on his tail. Tariku, Kenenisa’s younger brother, is seeking to add the senior title to the World Junior gold he won in China last year. Tariku broke the Ethiopian junior record last year when he finished fourth in Rome in 12:53.81.

It won’t all be about Ethiopians, however. The Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge is seeking to regain the title he won in 2003 when he stole the show from Bekele and Hicham El Guerrouj. Kipchoge, who was fourth two years ago and Olympic bronze medallist in 2004, finshed second to Sihine in Rome and will be tough to shake off again.

With Isaac Songok and the defending champion Benjamin Limo, Kenya will have a strong presence.

Much attention will be directed to the two non-Africans considered to have a shot at a medal. There's the United States' Bernard Lagat, who’s also running the 5,000m, and Craig Mottram. The Australian took the bronze medal in Helsinki and is hoping to end the African stranglehold on this event that began at the second edition in Rome in 1987.

Mottram beat a clutch of Ethiopians to win in Ostrava in 13:04.97 and clearly has speed in his legs after setting Oceania records at Two Miles outdoors and 3000m indoors this year.

He notched up a notable 3000m victory against Bekele at the World Cup last year, and the Africans will fear his finishing kick. No doubt the Australian will have watched with interest as Sihine was outdone at the end of the 10,000m.

Sihine can only hope it won’t happen yet again or he could be left wishing he’d paid more attention to his manager, Jos Hermens, who implored him before the championships to forget his personal battle with the elder Bekele and concentrate solely on the 5,000m here. We’ll see.

Osaka 2007 News Team/mkb




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