18 Aug 2008

Bekele retains 10,000 title

9:57 am on 18 August 2008

The world record holder Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia has secured what he hopes will be the first leg of the long-distance double when he retained his Olympic 10,000 metres title with a devastating last lap.

After tracking the lead for most of the race, Bekele let rip over the last 400 metres to finish well clear of team mate Sileshi Sihine, who also got silver behind him in Athens, while Micah Kogo snatched bronze for Kenya.

Bekele's time of 27 minutes 1.17 second is an Olympic record, bettering the time he set in 2004.

The rapid closing speed was too much for Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie and his bid for a third gold after triumphs in 1996 and 2000 fell short as he fell back to sixth in the final 200 metres.

Gebrselassie, the marathon world record holder, has focused on the longer event in recent years but opted for the 10,000 in Beijing due to fears over air pollution.