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Bekele storms to Olympic double
23 Aug 2008 13:38 BST

Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele crushed the opposition as he cruised to 5,000m gold on Saturday, adding to the 10,000m title he won eight days ago.

Bekele led all the way and sprinted to a new Olympic record time of 12 minutes 57.82 seconds to beat Kenyans Eliud Kipchoge and Edwin Cheruiyot Soi.

It is the first time the long distance double has been secured for 28 years.

Bernard Lagat, who had been tipped to push for gold, drifted off the pace with two laps left and finished ninth.

Uganda's Moses Ndiema Kipsiro was fourth, while Ireland's Alistair Cragg pulled up half-way through the race.

Although outside his world record of 12:37.35, Bekele's time beat the previous Olympic mark of 13:05.59 set by Morocco's Said Aouita when he won gold in 1984.

Bekele's double gave Ethiopia a sweep of all four distance titles after Tirunesh Dibaba completed the women's double on Friday.

Bekele joins Finland's Hannes Kolehmainen (1912) and Lasse Viren (who completed the double twice in 1972 and 76), Czechoslovakia's Emil Zatopek (1952), Russia's Vladimir Kuts (1956), and fellow Ethiopian Miruts Yifter (1980) as 5,000m and 10,000m winners at the same Olympics.

Bekele, who dictated the pace from the first lap, said: "My plan was to pick up the pace very fast.

"I had just enough, just enough, I was tired.

"I am so happy with this performance. This is very special to me. It has been hard work for so many years."

Kipchoge said: "In this final the pace was fast.

"But if we were in the same position in the last lap, maybe I could have caught up with him.

"I expected myself to get a gold medal, but I lost it and he was faster."