It’s hard to look past Ethiopian great Kenenisa Bekele who has cemented his place in history as one of the greatest distance runners of all time. He currently holds the Olympic and world records for the 5000m and 10,000m, an extraordinary achievement. But as usual, when an athlete of his calibre competes he raises the standards, the result is arising tide that lifts all boats. The final will take place on August 11th at 19:30 (GMT).
Mo Farah is the Somalia-born world champion over the 5000m, who will have the added benefit of home support as he competes under the Union Jack. He has been dubbed the ‘greatest distance runner in the world right now’ while his great rival Bekele has been called the ‘greatest distance runner of all time’. This race is all about these two.
When the two lined up at the World championships Eugene, Oregon two months ago it seemed we were witnessing the changing of the guard. Farah destroyed the field posting the second fastest time of his career and fastest in the world this year. Bekele could only manage fourth. The Ethiopian is struggling with form and has been dogged with injury from 2009 to 2011. That’s not to take anything form Farah who is an elegant runner in the form of his life. From failing to make the Olympic final in 2008 the 29 year old is arguably favourite for the gold in London.
Bekele is going for his third 10,000m gold and after that he still has one last goal to pursue, he wants to start running the marathon. The Africans continue their stranglehold on the sport of distance running, but outside the continents American based runner Bernard Legat has been in great form and will push for a place on the podium, while from inside Africa Imane Merga, Tariku Bekele and Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia and Kenyan’s Isiah Koech, Vincent Chepkok and Eliud Kipchoge make up a strong field.
By Hugo Mc Cafferty