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Paris 2003 Day 2

Day 2 of the Paris 2003 World Track Championships, was filled with drama. This was provided in Women’s heptahlon and the Men’s 100m quarters, however the Men’s 10 000m final was not to be outdone. The Ethiopian Emperor and Successors provided an awesome display of controlled power running.

Also on view for day 2 were the heats of Women’s 800m.

Men’s 10000m Final :
The Emperor of Distance running, Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia, gleefully began proceedings for the handing over of the crown across to the heir apparent Kenenisa Bekele after the Paris 10 000m Championships.

In a brilliant display of controlled power running, the Ethiopian Express steamed its way around the Stade de France, without taking any foreigners on board for a luxury ride.

The race started in a somewhat casual fashion, and it was the impetus of Mebrahtom Keflezighi [USA] that prompted the 1st K to be passed in 2:52.01, to bring some sense and sensibility to a Championship Final. Certainly no indication of what was to follow.

The blue and red clad American, was allowed the role of pacesetter as the field cruised through 2K in 5:36.76, an acceleration to a 2:44 kilometer. Germany’s Dieter Baumann, the 1992 Olympic 5000m Champion in Barcelona, appeared at the front briefly only to disappear into the depths of the pack to resurface with a DNF. An Autumn marathon beckons ?

The following km towards 3K [ 8:24.72 ] was 2:47.’72 conducted by Salim Kipsang [ Kenya ], that was the last occasion that one of the runners from that East African country would be allowed near the lead.

Gebrselassie took the lead and with a 2:46.05 and a 2:42.56 from Bekele they passed through 5K in 13:52.33 … roughly a 27:45 for 10k pace. Nothing spectacular and maybe appropriate for a warm Paris evening before the impending summer ending in Europe.

Hey, follow the storyline. Bekele then injected further pace into the effort handing over to Geb shortly before the 6K mark. A 2:36.52 kilometer, the fastest of the race. That should add the heat, 6k passed in 16:26.85 and any pretenders to climbing aboard were thrown off with venom.

Kenenisa Bekele
Kenenisa Bekele - World Championships Paris 2003 10000m

It was now an East African affair at the front, the green vest and red shorts of Ethiopia forcing the pace, followed by 3 Kenyans and an athlete from Qatar, who a month before was known as Albert Chepkurui of Kenya, and who now goes by the name of Ahmad Hassan Abdullah, sitting at the rear of the 7 man line.

The next K was pushed across at 2:38.29 for the front three to progress through 7K in 19:05.14, with Geb doing the donkey work. Shortly thereafter, the gap between Ethiopian and Kenyan distance running began to show. With Geb as the train driver they were well onto their way to a clean sweep of the podium positions.

8K passed in 21:42.58, another quick kilometer in 2:37.44, the pace was relentless and the Ethiopians were clear of the field, Sileshi Sihine the 3rd of the trio.

The pace did not slacken, another 2:37.98 to pass through 9k in 24:20.56, the stage was now set for a showdown between Geb and Bek. At stages Gebrselassie had signalled for Bekele to come to the front, as well as moving to the right of the inside track creating space for his compatriot who was rapidly turning into foe. Bekele declined the offers and moved to the right of Geb’s shoulder.

The intent was evident, Geb was now a stalked prey awaiting the cobra’s strike. The air began to tingle with intensity and anticipation, something had to give. 2 laps to go, the previous lap looked to be slower however it was a 62.71, the flashbulbs from the inside of track illuminated the Ethiopian gladiators in their dress of combat. Each athlete primed to perfection with concentration and the knowledge that in another 800m a new Champion would be crowned.

It still looked effortless, the only tell tale sign of acceleration was the higher lifting of Geb’s right hand and the sliding off the back of Sihine. Still Bekele sat, content to bide his time. Geb still had the awareness to look towards the stadium’s large screen, however the young Kenenisa was all focus with eyes fixed in front of him. 600m to go [ 25.23 ], would Geb kick, No ? It seemed as though there was no further lift in the tempo they as breezed round the bend, with Geb hugging the kurb and Bek slightly to his right. Their footstrike, arm carriage and trailing leg perfectly matched in unison. We were witnessing sublime movement at high speed. 600m to 400m to go was 31 second, Geb had not begun his normal long drive for home. The bell came in 25:54.54 and the Emperor’s cards were on the table for the heir apparent to observe.

26:09 with 300m to go. Coming into the backstraight for the final time and as they begin to pass the yellow clad figure of a lapped Tanzanian, Bekele moved his chassis to the right of Haile for his attack on the Emperor’s throne. Approaching 200m to go [ 26:23 – 14 sec for the 100 ], and the Ethiopians are shoulder to shoulder, 190m to go and Bekele makes his move. It doesn’t seem punishing, however he is moving away from Geb.

Coming off the final bend he switches to the inside of the 3rd lane to blast past the 3 lapped runners in the inside lane, his win is sealed. 26:49.58 is the winning time, a new Championship Record, a new Champion and the indication that Bekele undoutedly is the man to fill the shoes of Haile Gebrselassie.

Geb comes home in 26:50.77 followed by Sihine in 27:01.44.

Breaking the race down into two halves the 1st was in 13:52.33 and the 2nd a staggering 12:57.25. The last 1K a blistering 2:29.02. And on closer inspection the last 3K in 7:44.44.

An absolutely amazing championship race and the handing over of the Emperor’s mantle has begun. There is still more to achieve before the process is complete, however the coronation plannings have begun.
| results |

Women’s 800m Heats :
Maria Mutola again showed that she is undoubtedly the favourite to capture the 800m title. After leading at the bell, she dropped back allowing Britain’s Kelly Holmes to steal a march on the field, the Mozambique powerhouse then simply changed gears and cantered away from Holmes, and the field to book her place in the finals.

Stephanie Graf underlined her improved form by clocking sub 2min in her semi, with Moroccan hope, Amina Aït Hammou, taking the 3rd semi. These 3 semi final winners will in all probability be the medal winners, however Holmes may feel she has a hand to play after her 1:58 clocking. | results |

Men’s 10 000m Final – Sunday, August 24, 2003

Pos Bib Athlete Nat Time

The Ethiopian Express
The Ethiopian Express - World Championships Paris 2003 10 000m

1 423 Bekele Kenenisa ETH 26:49.57 (CR)
2 426 Gebrselassie Haile ETH 26:50.77 (SB)
3 429 Sihine Sileshi ETH 27:01.44
4 1118 Hassan Abdullah Ahmad QAT 27:18.28 (AR)
5 812 Korir John Cheruiyot KEN 27:19.94 (SB)
6 821 Talel Wilberforce KEN 27:33.60 (PB)
7 809 Kipsang Salim KEN 27:45.05 (SB)
8 985 Maase Kamiel NED 27:45.46 (SB)
9 529 Keska Karl GBR 27:47.89 (SB)
10 492 Sghyr Ismaïl FRA 27:54.87
11 934 Galván José David MEX 27:55.31
12 1306 Yuda John TAN 27:56.21 (SB)
13 1304 Joseph Fabian TAN 28:06.36
14 1388 Culpepper Alan USA 28:14.92
15 942 Vega Teodoro MEX 28:31.71
16 1409 Keflezighi Mebrahtom USA 28:35.08
17 668 Lombard Cathal IRL 28:36.43
18 782 Tsubota Tomoo JPN 28:37.10
19 1380 Browne Daniel USA 29:01.60

The Ethiopian Clean Sweep
Bekele Gebrselassie Sihine - World Championships Paris 2003 10 000m

549 Baumann Dieter GER DNF
1038 Aish Michael NZL DNF
799 Kamathi Charles KEN DNF
395 Martínez José Manuel ESP DNS

Intermediate Pos Bib Athlete Nat Time
1000m 1 1409 Keflezighi Mebrahtom USA 2:52.01
2000m 1 1409 Keflezighi Mebrahtom USA 5:36.76
3000m 1 809 Kipsang Salim KEN 8:24.72
4000m 1 426 Gebrselassie Haile ETH 11:10.77
5000m 1 423 Bekele Kenenisa ETH 13:52.33
6000m 1 426 Gebrselassie Haile ETH 16:26.85
7000m 1 426 Gebrselassie Haile ETH 19:05.14
8000m 1 426 Gebrselassie Haile ETH 21:42.58
9000m 1 426 Gebrselassie Haile ETH 24:20.56

Women’s 800m Heats – Sunday, August 24, 2003
Women’s 800m Heats
– Sunday, August 24, 2003
Heat 1Pos Bib Athlete Nat Time1 2 956 Yevdokimova Natalya RUS 2:01.05 Q

2 8 702 Aït Hammou Amina MAR 2:01.10 Q

3 1 526 Varga Judit HUN 2:01.47 Q

4 3 1161 Toomey Jennifer USA 2:01.75 q

5 5 263 Jensen Heidi DEN 2:02.01 q (SB)

6 4 292 Desviat Esther ESP 2:03.42

7 7 404 Moore Charlotte GBR 2:03.80

8 6 269 Joseph Marie-Lyne DMA 2:17.73 (PB)

Intermediate Pos Bib Athlete Nat Time

400m 1 956 Yevdokimova Natalya RUS 58.93

Heat 2Pos Bib Athlete Nat Time1 4 748 Mutola Maria de Lourdes MOZ 1:58.45 Q

2 5 397 Holmes Kelly GBR 1:58.86 Q (SB)

3 2 148 Cummins Diane CAN 1:59.58 q

4 7 464 Serwaa Akosua GHA 2:00.42 q (NR)

5 8 874 Cioncan Maria ROM 2:00.72

6 6 1025 Klocová Lucia SVK 2:00.73

7 3 956 Yevdokimova Natalya RUS 2:01.17

8 1 263 Jensen Heidi DEN 2:01.73 (SB)

Intermediate Pos Bib Athlete Nat Time

400m 1 748 Mutola Maria de Lourdes MOZ 58.08

Heat 3Pos Bib Athlete Nat Time1 4 702 Aït Hammou Amina MAR 2:00.57 Q

2 3 438 Gesell Claudia GER 2:01.01 Q

3 8 703 Aït Hammou Seltana MAR 2:01.34

4 2 920 Klyuka Svetlana RUS 2:01.61

5 5 749 Paulino Tina MOZ 2:01.85

6 7 526 Varga Judit HUN 2:02.20

7 6 1017 Brägger Anita SUI 2:02.34

8 1 758 Samaria Agnes NAM 2:02.66

Intermediate Pos Bib Athlete Nat Time

400m 1 920 Klyuka Svetlana RUS 1:00.99

Maria Mutola
Maria Mutola semis - World Championships Paris 2003 800m

Paris 2003 Day 1

Day 1 of the Paris 2003 World Track Championships, would see the major race being the final of the Women’s 10 000m, where Berhane Adere of Ethiopia would line up as favourite. [Read more…]