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Songok shocks Bekele over 5,000 m in Oslo IAAF Golden League start

2006-06-03

Edith Masai, the winner of the Vattenfall BERLIN HALF MARATHON, won the IAAF Golden League Meeting in Oslo.
© Victah Sailer

There was a shock defeat for Kenenisa Bekele the world 5000 metres record holder when losing to Kenyan rival Isaac Songok in tonight's IAAF Golden League meeting in Oslo. Bekele on the first of the six leg of the GL million-dollars jackpot competition, failed to match the finishing pace of Songok who posted a world leader for the year of 12minutes 55.79seconds.

Songok who finished runner-up behind the pre-race Ethiopian favourite in this year's World Cross Country short course race, left his fellow-African for dead in the final 150 metres. Bekele beaten outdoors over the distance for the first time since winning Olympic silver behind Hicham El Guerrouj two years ago, clocked 12.58.22, with third placed Mike Kigen another Kenyan, closing him down to a 0.36sec margin. Songok 22, said: "I am the most surprised today. I did not think that it was possible to win this race, but I felt very strong and had a lot of power at the last lap."

 There were four other world leading marks. The first achieved by Sanya Richards last summer's world championships 400m silver medallist, who won in 49.82sec. Tirunesh Dibaba's superb sprinting ability clinched a thrilling 5000m race where the strength of the opposition pushed her to the limit. Dibaba winner last August of both the world 5000m and 10000m gold medals, flew to a lifetime best of 14:30.40, with her confident display.
  
The Ethiopian outshone her rivals over the final circuit to beat off the challenge of elder sister Ejegayehu who clocked 14:33.52, with third paced Edith Masai - the winner of the Vattenfall BERLIN HALF MARATHON - lowering her Kenyan record to 14:33.84. Dibaba 21, said: "I had a lot of power in the last lap and am very happy both with my time and the win. I felt very strong."

Mohammed Al Azzimi lowered his Kuwait record and world leader to 1:44.39 while Alex Kipchirchir the Commonwealth 800m Champion took the Dream Mile in 3:50.32.

David Martin


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