Bekele storms to Phoenix Park success
In case anybody was in any doubt, Kenenisa Bekele showed why he is the best distance runner in the world with a stunning performance in the Spar Great Ireland Run in Phoenix Park today.
The Ethiopian blitzed the field as he prepares for another tilt at Olympic glory this summer, and while the hilly terrain of the Dublin park is hardly ideal for fast times, Bekele smashed the record for the course, clocking a time of 27.50, a full 46 seconds better than Craig Mottram’s old standard.
Ayad Lambassem of Spain was second, a full minute behind the great Bekele, with Daniele Meucci of Italy third. Ireland's Mark Kenneally finished seventh to take the Irish 10k title.
But the day was all about the multiple Olympic and World Champion. The 29-year-old has won the last two Olympic 10k titles, and he added the 5k to his CV in Beijing.
While Bekele was coy when he spoke to JOE’s Mark O’Toole in midweek regarding his chances in London, his run in Dublin today was a real statement of intent.
Bekele ran the first 3k in just 8.21 and if he is looking this sharp in April, by the time the Olympics rolls around, he should be almost unbeatable.
As for the ladies race, Gemma Steel beat last year’s winner Charlotte Purdue to land the title on a day when over 11,000 people took part in the top-class event.
But nobody was classier than Bekele.