The Men’s 3000M at the Norwich Union British Grand Prix in Sheffield, England just concluded and Kenenisa came out a strong victor, answering all his critics and doubters including this writer. Kenenisa won the race in 7:26.69 which is a huge seven seconds improvement on the year’s best time up to now. The talkative Australian Craig Mottram was well beat into second place a good nine seconds behind Kenenisa. With this victory, Kenenisa also established a new stadium record.
At the starting line Kenenisa appeared somewhat nervous, but he still managed to smile and wave to the crowd. As the starter’s gun went off, Kenenisa immediately went to the front and settled right behind the two pace makers. Mottram followed by closely staying immediately behind Kenenisa. They continued to cruise in this position passing the first kilometer mark in 2:29.57. They continued on without much shuffling on the second kilometer, which turned out to be a little slower than the first, and passed the 2km mark in 5:02.72. Kenenisa had requested the pacemakers to pass through the 2km mark in 5:03 so everything appeared to be right on target for Kenenisa.
Right after passing the 2km mark, the second of the two pacemakers dropped out and the racing began in earnest. But it practically ended as soon as it started. In a brilliantly executed race plan, Kenenisa injected an unexpected punishing pace right at 2km mark and immediately pulled away from the rest of the field, quickly distancing himself by some 40-50 meters. The rest of the field, including the boastful Mottram (who had scoffed at Kenenisa’s request for a 5:03 pace for 2km as being slow) had no answer to Kenenisa and appeared to be running in slow motion as Kenenisa pulled away at will.
Kenenisa ran a controlled final kilometer of the race, accelerating in the last lap which he covered in 57 seconds. His split for the last kilometer was 2:24 which was faster than the first two kilometers. Kenenisa finished the race in 7:26.69 which is six seconds short of the world record. The time is strong enough to convert to a sub 8 minute two mile which only Daniel Komen has ever run. More importantly, Mottram had to stretch to even get a view of the back side of Kenenisa’s shirt and not as Mottram boasted that the Africans will only see him from the back.
Kenenisa has always shown he bounces back from adversity stronger than before which is the trademark of a true champion. Marvelous job, our Anbessa!!