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  Wednesday, 8 August, 2001, 22:38 GMT 23:38 UK
Haile suffers shock defeat
Charles Kamathi (l) Haile Gebrselassie (r)
Kamathi (left) just had too much for Gebrselassie (right)
Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie suffered his first 10,000m defeat in eight years as Charles Kamathi claimed gold at the World Championships in Edmonton.

Haile, seeking his fifth straight world title in the event, could not match the sprinting speed of his Kenyan rival and had to settle for bronze behind countryman Assefa Mezgabu.

Kamathi finished in a time 27 minutes 53.25 seconds, with Haile, the Olympic champion and world record holder, clocking 27.54.41secs.


I tried my best but in the last 100m I don't know what happened
Haile Gebrselassie

Haile, who underwent an Achilles operation at the end of last year, found his rhythm after the opening two laps and appeared happy to sit in amongst the pack.

But the little Ethiopian soon found the tempo set by the front-runners unsettling and made a move to the front at the 6000m mark.

The two Spanish figures of Fabian Roncero and Jose Rios were the only two Europeans present amongst the cream of Africa coming up to the final two laps - all with a chance to take Haile's crown.

But it was the rangy figure of Kamathi who did just that by seizing the initiative from 200m out.

He outran Haile and Mezgabu to win what will be widely regarded as the one of the most exciting 10,000m races ever seen.

Haile, who had not been beaten in the 10,000m since August 1993, was in reflective mood following his shock defeat.

"I'm not disappointed, why should I be," he said.

"I tried my best but in the last 100m I don't know what happened. I couldn't do anything. I had no problems with blisters but my right calf hurt a bit."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC athletics correspondent John Rawling
"The winning run had to end sometime"
Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie
"I was very sure I could win"

Sports Talk SPORTS TALK
Is it the end of the road for Haile Gebrselassie? Record run
Can Gebrselassie bounce back from defeat?
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