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Bekele for Great Ireland 2013

Kenenisa Bekele - Great Ireland

Kenenisa Bekele – Great Ireland

Kenenisa Bekele, double Olympic gold medallist at 5,000 and 10,000 metres in 2004 and 2008, and fourth place finisher in the London Olympics last year, will return to the Phoenix Park, Dublin on Sunday 14 April to defend his title in the SPAR Great Ireland Run 10k.

Bekele, considered by many as the greatest distance runner of all time is the current world record holder at 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres. He took a break after London and is now focusing his training on qualifying (in the USA next month) and then competing in the World Championships 10,000 metres in Moscow in August.

He won the SPAR Great Ireland Run last year in a stunning course record time of 27 minutes 49 seconds.

Bekele will face a stern test as he defends his title against current World 10,000 metre champion and fellow Ethiopian, Ibrahim Jeilan, who has a personal best time of 27 minutes and 2 seconds. He will also face the rapidly improving Australian Collis Birmingham who finished in eighth place in the World Cross Country Championships last weekend, Abderrahim Bouramdane from Morocco, fourth placed in the 2011 World Championships marathon and nine times European cross country champion Sergiy Lebid of Ukraine.

The home challenge will be led by Mark Kenneally of Clonliffe Harriers, Ireland’s top marathon runner and 2012 Olympian, and Paul Robinson (St Coca’s AC), the fastest Irish 1500 metre runner in 2012.

The Run will be broadcast live on RTE Two.

Online entries for the Run remain open until 9am on Monday 8 April but packs must be collected from Life Style Sports in Blanchardstown on Thursday 11, Friday 12 or Saturday 13 April.

Entries have poured in over recent weeks for the main Run, as well as the Junior and Mini Runs for 9 to 15 and 5 to 8 year olds respectively, and a great family day out in the stunning surroundings of the Phoenix Park is anticipated.

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