Saturday, March 24, 2007

Showtime in Mombasa

It has finally arrived. Today is the day for the 35th IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa, Kenya. Withinn the next two hours, we will know if Ethiopia can reclaim cross country dominance away from Kenya and if Kennenisa Bekele becomes the only man to ever win six senior men title.

The live feed from ETV is currently showing men's 10000M race from the 1st All Ethiopian Games at the Addis Ababa Stadium. They will be switching to the meet in Mombasa in the next ten minutes, in time for the senior women's race featuring Tirunesh, Meselech, Gelete, and others. I will be providing updates in the comment section to this post.

Best wishes for Team Ethiopia!!

24 comments:

roocha said...

The womens race got underway about 45 sec ago.

roocha said...

Lornah Kiplagat of Netherlands (formerly of Kenya) has gone straigt to the front of the race and the Ethiopians are following. Kiplagat is a real threat to win this race. ETV commercials are cutting in and are beginning to be annoying.

roocha said...

Interesting early development. Meselech Melkamu has bolted to the front and seems interested to challenge for the race. But Kiplagat has now returned to the front and is dictating the pace.

roocha said...

Kiplagat has opened a huge gap on the rest of the field and noone has responded. I hope the Ethiopians are not wilting in the heat and humidity. Kiplagat is looking over her shoulder to make sure noone is nearby. She is a very strong runner with past victories over Berhane Adere and Meseret Defar under hot conditions in Puerto Rico. Also she is running infront of her home crowd today.

roocha said...

Lornah Kiplagat has run away with this race. Her lead must be close to 200m and she is almost at te finish.

roocha said...

Kiplagat has won the race in 26:23. Tirunesh Dibaba came in second, Meselech Melkamu third and Gelete Burka fourth. Amazing how Kiplagat thrashed this field. Watch out for her in the London Marathon next month.

roocha said...

Kenyans came in fifth through eigth place, an Eritrean in ninth palce and Wude Ayalew of Ethiopia in 10th place clinching the team victory for Ethiopia. Since the first four runners score for the team, the ETHIOPANS HAVE WON THE TEAM GOLD WITH 19 POINTS. Kenyan team cam in second with 26 points. GO ETHIOPIA!!

roocha said...

The men's race has got underway 10 sec ago. The great Kenyan Paul Tergat has picked Kennenisa to get his sixth win today. I am wondering how the heat may affect him. He has gone straight to front from the get go.

roocha said...

They just completed the second lap now and there is no run away leader in this race. There is a bunch of runners in a group at the front, Kennenisa and Sileshi among them. Kennenisa looks quite comfortable so far.

roocha said...

Things are looking rough. Yonas Kifle of Eritrea has taken a nasty fall and has been left behind. Kennenisa is also gesturing that he is not happy about something- perhaps lots of pushing, shoving and clipping going on.

roocha said...

At the end of the third lap, Zeresenay Tadesse of Eritrea has gone to the front and taken the lead. He is trying to run away but Kennenisa is still on him. THis is for real. Three laps to go and the two have put a gap on the rest of the field.

roocha said...

Zeresenay still pressing hard in the front but Kennenisa is right on his heels looking comfortable. Mosop of Kenya is in third place about 20 meters behind. Zeresenay is the World Road Running Chanpion in 2006 so he is for real and is trying to break Kennenisa.

roocha said...

Unbelievable- the live feed has cut out at the end of the fourth lap... about 8 minutes remaining in the race and I hope the connection will restore.

roocha said...

Kennenisa is infront by about 15m and has slowed down dramatically allowing Zeresenay to catch up...

roocha said...

Zeresenay has opened a gap on Kennenisa

roocha said...

Kenninsa in real trouble trying to hang on to second place and looking exhausted. Zeresenay way ahead.

roocha said...

Real drama- Kennenisa has droped out holding his left quadraceps. Crowed booing with diapproval. Zeresenay will bring first victory to Eritrea.

roocha said...

Zeresenay Tadesse has won the race in 35:49. Moses Mosop of Kenya in second place.

roocha said...

Waiting for the rest of the results to see team standings. But let's just say Mombasa was a disaster for Ethiopian team. The men will surely not win the team title because Kennenisa dropped out. I believe he is fine because they showed a shot of him waving to the crowd. From the looks of things, Kennenisa may have been dehydrated although he was driking and dousing himself with water on the run. At one point he opened a lead on Zeresenay but then he slowed down allowing Zeresenay to catch up. The two run together for a while and Kennenisa tried to take off again but Zeresenay covered the move. When Zeresenay then surged, Kennenisa was simply dropped and had a very difficult time negotiating a down hill segment. As he came up hill, he held his left thigh briefly but then appeared to make a conscious decision to leave the race course. The crowd roared perhaps because they felt Kennenisa was being a bad sport in not completing a race he was not going to win or because Kennenisa was not going to get the record sixth victory. Either way, Kennenisa was obviously not the best man out there today and him dropping out clearly hurt any chance the Ethiopian men had winning the team title. Although Kennenisa is to be admired for having the courage to put his winning streak on the line under difficult conditions in Kenya, I believe Kennenisa simply did not know how to lose with grace.

roocha said...

Junior Women:
Gold- Kenya 1st+2nd+3rd+7th= 13
Silver- Eritrea 6+8+9+10= 33
Bronze- Ethiopia 4+5+13+14=36

roocha said...

Junior Men:

Gold- Kenya 1+2+3+4=10 (Perfect score)
Silver- Eritrea 6+8+14+16= 44
Bronze- Ethiopia 7+12+15+20=54
Fourth palce- Uganda 5+10+19+21=55

roocha said...

Senior Women:

Gold- Ethiopia 2+3+4+10=19
Silver- Kenya 5+6+7+8=26
Bronze- Morroco 11+17+33+38=99

roocha said...

Senior Men:

Gold- Kenya 2+3+4+5+6+8=28
Silver- Morocco 13+17+20+30+32+34=146
Bronze- Uganda 9+19+25+36+38+58=185

Ethiopia: 14th Markos Geneti, 15th Sileshi Sihin, 16th Ketema Nigussie, and 26th Chala Lemi. We could not get a team score because only four out of nine managed to even finish the race.

Amazingly, the following senior men did not finish the race: Tadesse Tola (Ethiopian trial champion), Kennenisa Bekele, Tariku Bekele, Abebe Dinkesa, and Solomon Tsige. This is an absolute disaster and clearly they did not acclimate well to the hot and humid conditions. The coaches and directors have been claiming training was going well. The team was camped at Ghion Hotel in Addis Ababa with training sessions held in Debre Zeit. Well, Debre Zeit could hardly simulate the 90 degree heat and 80% humidity they faced in the seaside city of Mombassa! This is clearly the worst cross country performance by the Ethiopian men. Great kudos to the senior Ethiopian women for a great performance!

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