Friday, August 22, 2008

Women's 5,000 M Final- What a race



This was a super-ridiculous slow pace. Tirunesh won it in 15:41.40. For perspective, the NCAA Division I Champion won in 15:15.08. It’s crazy to run at this speed at this level. At this pace all bets are off. It's anyone's game.

The slow pace was dangerous as Meseret Defar tripped and almost crashed. The slow pace also opened the hole Elvan Abeylegesse exploited.

Nonetheless, this was a thrilling race to watch. Meseret Defar and Tirunsh Dibaba played cat and mouse until Tirunesh had had enough and pushed the pace with about 3 laps to go. Later Elvan injected pace but most of the pack covered. During the last lap Tirunesh broke early for gold but Meseret was sitting behind her. It looked as if Meseret was about to explode in a sprint. Instead with 2,40 to go she dropped off a bit. That is when Tirunesh exploded in a sprint and opened a huge gap and kept going. Meseret gave it all she had but did not have the stuff to match Tirunesh. She faded and Elvan Abeylegesse caught her around the bend.

Ladies and gentlemen Tirunesh has made history. She is the double gold medalist. No one could have beat her today.

Hat's of for Meseret's effort. It looked as if something was not right with her. Had she been going for silver it would have been a cake walk. Tirunesh is a champion. Meseret can’t be disappointed with her effort.

Elvan Abeylegesse ran a hard and smart race to maximize results from opportunities. She is in great shape.

Meselech Melkamu disappointed finishing 8th but she was in the mix with 300 to go.

The surprise was that the Kenyans were so passive and ended up getting slaughtered. Even more surprising was that the Russian Liliya Shobukhova did not push the pace or that Gulnara Samitova-Galkina who slowed the pace early was not in the mix at the end. But nether had a chance.

Look for the 10,000 M World Record to fall. At 22, Tirunesh is already among the greatest long distance runner of all times. If she keeps this up she will surpass Haile.

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