Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cash the Czech

Tomorrow evening (June 27) will bring us the much anticipated Ostrava track meet (46th Zlata Tetra - Golden Spike - Ostrava) held in the Czech Republic. You will recall that Meseret Defar had pointed to this meet as one of two key preparation she has planned prior to the Osaka World Championships in August. The other one was the ExxonMobil Bislett Games in Oslo where Meseret smashed the 5000M World Record.

Meseret is going for another record in the 5000M tomorrow, but unlike Oslo, she will be facing strong competition from Gelete Burka and Meselech Melkamu who have also been having a great season so far. It should make for a nice race but it may be a bit much to expect two world records on back to back races. Actually, I can not easily recall anyone in recent past who has achieved back-to-back world record in track racing (not counting field events).

The women's 5000 is not the only record attempt tomorrow. Haile Gebrselassie is also going for a world record in the one hour run. Haile should easily get this record as well as the 20000m record. Incidentally, in one of my earlier posts I had speculated that Haile is likely going for two records for the price of one, which has indeed turned out to be the case. However, I had guessed that he would be attempting to gain back the half-marathon record. That turned out to be incorrect because of my wrong assumption that the one-hour record attempt would be on the road rather than on a track. Obviously there could not be a half-marathon record on the track since any race of that distance is classified as a road race.

The men's 5000M race should also be a dandy since there are seven Ethiopians and eight Kenyans entered. The Australian Craig Mottram (winner of the 2 mile race at Pre Classic) is also in the mix which should give Tariku Bekele a chance to avenge his loss to Mottram at Pre two weeks ago. The World XC Champion Zeresenay Tadesse had been announced for the 5000M but his name is not listed among the starters.

The Ostrava meet will be broadcast live on the web (subscription required) at www.wcsn.com.

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