Saturday, June 09, 2007

Kenenisa Scratched from Pre

I watched the 2 mile race in Hengelo late in the day two weekends ago, so didn't provide a timely update at the time. The results were all over the news the following day so I didn't bother to add an entry.

Watching the race in Hengelo, two things stood out: first, the rest of the field in the race were all virtual unknowns, even for an avid roocha fan. Secondly, the winning time of 8:13.51 was very slow, some 15 seconds slower than the world record. Kenenisa just followed the pace for the slow first mile (4:11), stayed near the front for the much quicker second mile (4:02), and he still managed to produce a blistering kick that no one could match for the last two hundred meters. He finished with a huge margin of victory.

Kenenisa looked fine but one nagging question remained in my mind. What if the race had real competition? The answer was to come in two weeks time on June 10. Kenenisa's next outing was scheduled to be at the Pre Classic in Oregon, USA. Unlike the race in Hengelo, the 2 mile at Pre is stacked with deep field of strong competitors. Also, it was going to be the first head to head meeting between Kenenisa Bekele and Zeresenay Tadesse following the debacle in Mombasa.

But it was not meant to be. Kenenisa has withdrawn from tomorrow's race citing lack of fitness. Perhaps a good decision, because Hengelo did not assure anyone that Kenenisa of old has returned. We will have to wait until July 10 to see Kenenisa in action at Athletissima in Lausanne, Switzerland. In the mean time, you can read more about Kenenisa's withdrawal from Pre here and more about Kenenisa the man here.