Bekele wins distance double
Ethiopian becomes first runner to win 5,000 and 10,000 metres double.
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2009 19:23 GMT

Kenenisa Bekele affords a quick grin as he crosses the finishing line [GALLO/GETTY]
Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele became the first man to win the 5,000-10,000 metres double at the world championships when he clocked 13 minutes, 17.09 seconds to take gold at the shorter distance in Berlin.

The 27-year-old duplicated his Olympic success and followed in the footsteps of countrywoman Tirunesh Dibaba, who won both world titles in 2005.

Bekele, the world record holder at both distances, hit the front early in the race then held off a strong challenge from defending champion Bernard Lagat of the United States to pull clear in the closing metres.

"I'll never forget this race," Bekele said.

"I won double gold and I am so happy."

Slow pace

He said the slow pace worked in his favour.

"I know he can't beat me at this pace," Bekele said.

"I led so much because I really wanted to make it a slow race."

The strong-finishing Lagat was timed in 13:17.33.

"The last 100 metres there were two guys who wanted to win," said the Kenyan-born American.

"I thought I was going to have it, but Bekele was stronger. I gave it everything I had."

James C'Kurui of Qatar took the bronze.

Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.