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2008 Olympic Games Beijing - Men's 10000 m



Host City: Beijing, China Format: Final only.
Date Started: August 17, 2008  
Date Finished: August 17, 2008  
(Competitors: 38; Countries: 20)  
    Venue(s): Beijing National Stadium, Beijing
Overview by IAAF    2008_olympic_stadium.jpg
Bekele (26:25.97) and Sihine (26:50.53) had the two fastest times of the season and were expected to repeat as the gold and silver medallists. The opposition, unsure of how to deal with the Ethiopians, took the pace slowly, with Alejandro Suárez (MEX) leading at 1000m (2:50.15) before Athens bronze medallist Tadese took on the pace, reaching halfway in 13:48.00 after a series of laps ranging from 62.2 to 68.8. After 6400m, the pace was never slower than 65 per lap, but with 2000m left (21:53.78) there were still 10 athletes in the leading group. Kogo and Masai then surged, and the group was quickly cut to seven. Kogo upped the pace to 61.0 for the penultimate lap, but was passed by Bekele and Sihine with 430m to go. Bekele smoothly accelerated away from Sihine with 250m remaining, and completed his last lap in 53.42 – despite looking over his shoulder a dozen times. Kogo edged Masai by 0.001 for the bronze medal, Tadese dropped two places from Athens despite running 17 seconds faster, and the old master, Gebrselassie, placed sixth in his fourth Olympic final.
Summary by      
Kenenisa Bekele was the heavy favorite. He was the defending champion, and had broken the world record twice, in 2004 and 2005, and still held it at a heady 26:17.53. He was also World Champion at the distance in 2003, 2005, and 2007. But he had competition in Beijing in the form of the man who had been king, Haile Gebrselassie. Geb had won the Olympic gold medal at 10K in 1996 and 2000, and was world champion four straight times from 1993-1999. He had also set three world records at the distance, the first in 1995 and the last in 1998. But by now he had moved up and was considered a greater threat in the marathon. However, in Beijing, he elected to pass on the marathon, concerned about the air condition and its possible effect on his health. In the race, Gebrselassie led thru 6,000 metres at only a moderate pace. The 2004 bronze medalist, Zersenay Tadesse (ERI), took the lead at 8K, and began to push it a bit. But a pack of 10 still remained together. Just before the bell, Bekele went to the front and effectively the race was over. He was in charge throughout the final lap, and won by almost 15 metres, with his countryman Sileshi Sihine getting silver. Gebrselassie was with the lead group on the final lap, but no longer had the speed to contend for a medal, finishing sixth.


Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows:

World record Ethiopia Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) 26:17.53 Brussels, Belgium 26 August 2005
Olympic record  Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) 27:05.10 Athens, Greece 20 August 2004

The following new Olympic record was set during this competition.

Date Event Name Nationality Time OR WR
17 August Final Kenenisa Bekele Ethiopia 27:01.17 OR  

The Men's 10,000 metres at the 2008 Summer Olympics took place on August 17 at the Beijing National Stadium.

The race was dominated by the Ethiopian and Kenyan teams along with Tadese of Eritrea. With 200m remaining, Bekele pulled away from the rest of the field with a final lap of 53.42 seconds, winning his second 10,000m Olympic gold medal.

Men's 10,000m FINAL

In many ways, the men’s 10,000m final was a virtual rerun of the final in Athens four years ago. Several of the key names remained the same. Many of the team tactics were revisited. Even the biggest applause during the introduction of the field was directed towards the same runner, Ethiopian legend Haile Gebrselassie. And the victor again was, as expected, Kenenisa Bekele.

One key difference was Bekele’s winning time, four years later considerably faster at 27:01.17, which sliced nearly four seconds from his Olympic record run in the Greek capital. But the dominating way in which he’s able to win 10,000m races, has changed little.

“I prepared very well,” Bekele said, “but it’s easy to run.”

The picture definition for the term ‘composure’, Bekele bided his time until taking the lead and unleashing his vicious kick. Over the final lap, he more closely resembled a 400m sprinter than a man who had just completed 24 laps of the track.

Adding to his nearly unparalleled resume, Bekele gained easy entry into the elite club of fleet-footed two-time 10,000m Olympic champions, joining his compatriot Gebrselassie (1996/2000) and three others: Lasse Viren (1972/1976), Emil Zatopek (1948/1952) and The Flying Finn, Paavo Nurmi (1920/1928).

The supporting cast too seem to have comfortably settled into their roles. The silver went for the second straight time to Sileshi Sihine, who crossed the line in 27:02.77, also under the previous Olympic record.

“I was trying hard but the last lap was too fast,” said Sihine, who also finished behind Bekele at the last two World championships. “But it’s good for my country that we got two medals.”

Gebrselassie, fifth in Athens four years ago in what he said would be his last track race over the distance, was sixth this time, but still considerably faster at 27:06.68. Zersenay Tadese, the defending bronze medallist, could do no better than fifth (27:05.11), as he was forced to contend with the strong Kenyan duo of Micah Kogo and Moses Masai. The pair were virtually inseparable at the line, with the edge given to Kogo as both were credited with a 27:04.11 performance, also under the previous Olympic record to help round out the finest Olympic final ever.

The pace was quick from the outset, with Eritrea’s Tadesse Kidane doing much of the early work, leading the pack from the initial laps through 5000m, reached in 13:48.00. Several lead changes transpired over the final four kilometres, with the pack of challengers finally reduced to six with three laps to go. Even Gebrselassie took his turn with the lead, as did Tadese.

At the bell, Bekele lead an Ethiopian 1-2-3, but Gebrselassie’s legs, for some time now more accustomed to the Marathon, finally failed him midway through the back stretch when first the Kenya duo, and then Tadese, went by.

Bekele is already considered by some as the finest distance runner in history, but it’s a characterization he’s not yet willing to accept.

“I have to have many years of winning before I can compare myself to him,” he said. Barely 26, he still has ample time to fill whatever void he feels need filling.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF

10000 m Men     Final 17 August      
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 27.01.17     Kenenisa Bekele Ethiopia ETH 13 Jun 82  
2 27.02.77     Sileshi Sihine Ethiopia ETH 29 Jan 83  
3 27.04.11     Micah Kogo Kenya KEN 3 Jun 86  
4 27.04.11     Moses Masai Kenya KEN 1 Jun 86  
5 27.05.11     Zersenay Tadese Eritrea ERI 8 Feb 82  
6 27.06.68     Haile Gebrselassie Ethiopia ETH 18 Apr 73  
7 27.08.25     Martin Mathathi Kenya KEN 25 Dec 85  
8 27.23.75     Abdullah Ahmad Hassan Qatar QAT 29 Jul 81  
9 27.25.33     Fabiano Joseph Naasi Tanzania TAN 24 Dec 85  
10 27.27.28     Boniface Kiprop Uganda UGA 12 Oct 85  
11 27.29.33     Selim Bayrak Turkey TUR 30 Nov 87 NR NUR
12 27.36.11     Kidane Tadese Eritrea ERI 31 Aug 87  
13 27.36.99     Galen Rupp United States USA 8 May 86  
14 27.48.03     Dickson Marwa Mkami Tanzania TAN 6 Mar 82  
15 27.52.53     Abdi Abdirahman United States USA 1 Jan 77  
16 27.53.14     Abdellah Falil Morocco MAR 29 May 76  
17 27.54.20     Juan Carlos de la Ossa Spain ESP 25 Nov 76  
18 27.55.14     Hasan Mahboob Ali Bahrain BRN 31 Dec 81  
19 27.56.74     Dieudonné Disi Rwanda RWA 24 Apr 78  
20 27.58.67     Essa Ismail Rashed Qatar QAT 14 Dec 86  
21 28.06.26     Samwel Kwaangw Shauri Tanzania TAN 30 Dec 85  
22 28.11.92     Felix Kibore Qatar QAT 18 Feb 88  
23 28.13.68     Carles Castillejo Spain ESP 18 Aug 78  
24 28.13.73     Ayad Lamdassem Spain ESP 11 Oct 81  
25 28.13.93     Jorge Torres United States USA 22 Aug 80  
26 28.13.97     Surendra Singh Kumar India IND 1 Oct 78  
27 28.14.38     Günther Weidlinger Austria AUT 5 Apr 78  
28 28.23.28     Kensuke Takezawa Japan JPN 11 Oct 86  
29 28.26.57     Juan Carlos Romero Mexico MEX 15 Dec 77  
30 28.34.72     Sergey Ivanov Russia RUS 3 Mar 79  
31 28.39.77     Takayuki Matsumiya Japan JPN 21 Feb 80  
32 28.54.33     Teklemariam Medhin Weldeslasie Eritrea ERI 24 Jun 89  
33 29.08.10     Eric Gillis Canada CAN 8 Mar 80  
34 29.09.03     Rui Pedro Silva Portugal POR 6 May 81  
35 29.24.78     Alejandro Suárez Mexico MEX 30 Nov 80  
  DNF     Mohamed El Hachimi Morocco MAR 5 Sep 80  
  DNF     David Galván Mexico MEX 6 Apr 73  
  DNF     Cuthbert Nyasango Zimbabwe ZIM 17 Sep 82  




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