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Page last updated at 13:22 GMT, Tuesday, 2 August 2005 14:22 UK

Kipchoge springs surprise


By Steve Cram
BBC Sport athletics commentator

Men's 5000m final: Paris 2003

The men's 5,000m in Paris was as an exciting race as I could ever wish to commentate on.

What made it such a great occasion was not only the surprise result but the way the race was set up so beautifully.

Hicham El Guerrouj had already won the 1500m in Paris and Kenenisa Bekele had done likewise over 10,000m

Eliud Kipchoge (centre) beats Kenenisa Bekele (left) and Hicham El Guerrouj (right)
5,000m WORLD RECORDS
Men's: ETH 12:37.35 Kenenisa Bekele 31/5/04
Women's: TUR 14:24.68 Elvan Abeylegesse 11/06/04

And so all eyes were firmly fixed on them as they both went in search of double gold in Paris - no-one made much heed to teenager Eliud Kipchoge.

When the race went off, I remember thinking Bekele should push on early if he was to have a chance of upsetting El Guerrouj.

The Ethiopian contingent did set a hard pace as they tried to drop the Moroccan but with 1,000m to go El Guerrouj went to the front.

But even with his famous kick famous he could not shake off Bekele and Kipchoge.

With 200m to go, Bekele dropped off the pace and El Guerrouj and Kipchoge went neck-and-neck down the home straight.

I still thought El Guerrouj would wind it up but it was the Kenyan teenager who was stronger and dipped ahead to claim a surprise gold.

Why was it such a fabulous race? Well, it was the combination of a tight finish and an unexpected result.



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