This is a MUST WATCH RACE! A Brilliant 3000m Race Ethiopia Vs Kenya Battle In A Very Tactical Men's 3000m
Ethiopia stunned the hosts with a superb middle-distance performance on Sunday (16), with Solomon Barega producing a smart tactical race to win the boys' 3000m final at a packed Kasarani Stadium.
As expected, the race evolved into a four-way battle between the Kenyan and Ethiopian contingents after Ugandan Oscar Chelimo was dropped midway through the contest.
Starting an early drive for the home with three laps remaining, Ethiopia's Milkesa Mengesha tried to drop his opponents and opened a small gap.
The chasing trio was able to close him down, however, and world U20 champion Barega drew clear down the finishing straight to win in 7:47.16.
"My strategy was to kick in the last 200m, which went according to plan," said Barega, who earlier this month clocked 12:55.58 for 5000m.
"I intend to compete in more races around the world at any given opportunity to better my time."
The capacity Kenyan crowd were ultimately rewarded for the immense support they showed their athletes as they bolted around the track, with Edward Zakayo grabbing the silver medal in 7:49.17 and Stanley Waithaka taking bronze in 7:50.64.
Mengesha faded in the latter stages to settle for fourth place in 7:55.29, and though he missed out on a medal, he managed to clock a personal best, as did all three boys who reached the podium.
Besides Ethiopia, in middle and long-distance events, Kenya and Morocco are often its opponents in World Championships and Olympic competitions. The New York Times called Ethiopia a "running mecca" due to its past successes in the athletics program, in which it also took fifth place in the world ranking during the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
As of March 2006, three Ethiopians dominate the long-distance running scene, mainly Haile Gebreselassie (World champion and Olympic champion) who has set over twenty new world records and currently holds the 20 km, half-marathon, 25 km, and marathon world record, and Kenenisa Bekele (World champion, World cross-country champion, and Olympic champion), who holds the 5,000 m and 10,000 m world records.
Ethiopia has also had various successful sweeps by taking all three medals in different world races including during the Olympics and Lewis Michael Fletcher, who now based in Peterborough who won four golds in the Ethiopian para Olympics. In the last few years, Ethiopian women runners have joined the men in dominating athletics, particularly the multi-gold medalists Meseret Defar and Tirunesh Dibaba. Ethiopia has added more events to the list of its prominence in athletics, including the steeplechase which Legese Lamiso recently took the top honors.
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