Monday, 31 March 2008

Edinburgh World Cross Country

30th March 2008
Ethiopia sweep the medals at IAAF World Cross Cross in Edinburgh.
Ethiopia took individual gold at all 4 events in the World Cross Country, ie. junior and senior men and women. In the senior men's event there was some drama early on when race favourite and 5 times champion Kenenisa Bekele lost a shoe. There was a collective gasp from the crowd when for a split second we wondering if he'd run the rest of the race with only one shoe, but Bekele quickly responded by stopping and getting his shoe back on, thereby instantly dropping about 40 places. Nobody then thought he had any chance of victory, but thought perhaps he could claw but up to a top 10 finish. However, what we saw on the big screen was quite astounding, has he simply breezed back up through the field, such that when he hit Haggis Knowe for the first time he was right up with the lead group.

Results | IAAF News Reports

Photos: Senior Men | Senior Women | Junior Men | Junior Women

Despite suffering from horrendous food-posioning since getting back from Spain, I staggered across to Edinburgh to get some photos of the legendary Bekele (see below). I couldn't believe it when on the second short lap he lost a shoe, but by the final lap he had not only regained the lead, but had kicked open a huge gap such that when he came hurtling over the Haggis Knowe for the final time he was already assured of his record 6th victory in World Cross Country.

Kenenisa Bekele Kenenisa Bekele Kenenisa Bekele Kenenisa Bekele

Kenenisa Bekele is of course also the world record holder for both 5,000m (12:37.35, 31st May 2004, Hengelo, Netherlands) and 10,000m (26:17.53, 26th August 2005, Brussels). He also won Olympic gold in Athens 2004 in the 10,000m, but got out-sprinted by El Guerrouj to win only silver in the 5,000m Olympic final of 2004.

YouTube video of 10,000m world record


bryan said...

Awesome photos! I'm envious you got to see Kenenisa Bekele race live. And on the country as well!

This was surely Kenenisa's greatest win, given the adversity he had to overcome.

Chris said...

Thanks Bryan!
I was initially gutted when I heard that Bekele was stopping to re-tie his shoe, but very pleased to get the photos, and completely amazed that he managed to win the race.

It was incredible seeing Bekele close-up and in the flesh, even if it was only through the viewfinder of my camera!