EUGENE (Sporting Alert) — Ethiopian star distance runner Kenenisa Bekele won the 10,000 meters with a world-leading at the Prefontaine Classic on Friday night at Hayward Field.
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Bekele, who holds the world record at 26:17.53, clocked 27 minutes, 12.08 seconds to win Friday night’s race after taking the lead going into the final lap and then sprinting home to beat fellow countrymen Imane Merga and Abera Kuma.
Merga ran 27:12.37 for second, while Kuma stopped the clock at a personal best of 27:13.10.
Despite running a world leading time, Bekele was hoping for a better performance.
“We decided to run under 27 minutes but in the end we didn’t because from the beginning the pace was slow,” said Bekele.
“Nobody pushed it. It is very tough for one person to push alone. I am OK, yes. I am happy that I won the race.
“I didn’t expect this time. Really we planned to run 26:45 but the time was not quite good,” added Bekele.
Also on Friday night, Russia’s Aleksandr Menkov delivered a world lead effort in the men’s Long Jump of 8.39m to take the event, while Christina Obergfoll of Germany won the women’s Javelin Throw in a new meeting record of 67.70m.
The women’s Shot Put went to New Zealand star Valerie Adams, who did 20.15m to just edged out China’s Lijiao Gong who did 20.12m.
“I really thought I was beaten,” Adams was quoted as saying. “Seriously, I didn’t actually think I had won. I didn’t pay attention.
“Obviously for me I was very disappointed with myself.
“A win is great but I am still disappointed that I threw only that far. Today I feel a lot flatter than normal. You have always got to take the positive.
“You are not going to throw a PB every day so today is just one of those days. You have to take it and move on to the next competition.”
A full schedule is set for Saturday as the likes of Mo Farah, who withdrew from the 10, 000m race on Thursday because of a stomach bug and American training partner Galen Rupp will battle in the men’s 5,000m.
Americans Justin Gatlin, Mike Rodgers and Nesta Carter of Jamaica will battle in the men’s 100, with Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and her Jamaican teammates Kerron Stewart and Veronica Campbell-Brown taking on Allyson Felix (USA) and Blessing Okagbare (Nigeria) in the women’s race.
LaShawn Merritt (USA), Kirani James (Grenada), Chris Brown (Bahamas) and Luguelin Santos (Dominican Republic) setup an interested men’s 400m contest, but the men’s 800m field will be without Olympic champion and World record holder David Rushida, who was forced to withdraw due to a right knee injury.
After missing the Adidas Grand Prix Sanya Richards-Ross will battle with Amantle Montsho in the women’s 400m.