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Athletics at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games:

Men's 5,000 metres

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Beijing National Stadium, Beijing
Date Started: August 20, 2008
Date Finished: August 23, 2008

Gold: ETH Kenenisa Bekele
Silver: KEN Eliud Kipchoge
Bronze: KEN Edwin Soi

Summary

Kenenisa Bekele was considered the greatest distance runner in the world and also a worthy successor to the line of Paavo Nurmi, Emil Zátopek, and Lasse Viren as one of the greatest ever. He was a heavy favorite and had already won the 10K six days before the 5,000 final. His main rival was probably Bernard Lagat, a former Kenyan who now ran for the United States, and who had won the 5K at the 2007 World Championships. But Lagat was not at his best in Beijing and would finish only ninth in the final. And even at his best, Bekele was the better runner. He had held the world record since May 2004, and had won 11 International Cross-Country titles since 2003 (short- and long-course). With Lagat in the final, who had good finishing speed, Bekele ran with his brother, Tariku Bekele, and they set a fast early pace. At 3,000 metres, Bekele strung the field out with a 60-second lap. He continued to push the pace for the next few laps. By the final backstretch the race was over, and Bekele closed in 54.0 to win by almost five seconds. He ran his last 1,600 in 3:57.0, and his last five laps in 4:57.0. Behind him the medals went to two Kenyans, Eliud Kipchoge (silver) and Edwin Soi (bronze). Having now won the 10,000 in both 2004 and 2008, and doubling in the 5K/10K at one Olympic Games, Bekele joined Nurmi, Zátopek, and Viren as the only distance runners to have pulled off that double/double.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Kenenisa Bekele 26 Ethiopia ETH Gold
2 Eliud Kipchoge 23 Kenya KEN Silver
3 Edwin Soi 22 Kenya KEN Bronze
4 Moses Kipsiro 21 Uganda UGA
5 Abreham Cherkos 18 Ethiopia ETH
6 Tariku Bekele 21 Ethiopia ETH
7 Juan Luis Barrios 25 Mexico MEX
8 James Kwalia 24 Qatar QAT
9 Bernard Lagat 33 United States USA
10 Kidane Tadesse 21 Eritrea ERI
11 Alemayehu Bezabeh 22 Spain ESP
12 Thomas Longosiwa 26 Kenya KEN
13 Matt Tegenkamp 26 United States USA
14 Jesús España 29 Spain ESP
AC r2/2 Alistair Cragg 28 Ireland IRL
5 h2 r1/2 Ali Abdalla 25 Eritrea ERI
5 h3 r1/2 Craig Mottram 28 Australia AUS
6 h2 r1/2 Mo Farah 25 Great Britain GBR
6 h3 r1/2 Moukheld Al-Outaibi 32 Saudi Arabia KSA
7 h2 r1/2 Adrian Blincoe 28 New Zealand NZL
7 h3 r1/2 Kensuke Takezawa 21 Japan JPN
8 h1 r1/2 Anis Selmouni 29 Morocco MAR
8 h2 r1/2 Mourad Marofit 26 Morocco MAR
8 h3 r1/2 Monder Rizki 28 Belgium BEL
9 h1 r1/2 Aadam Khamis 19 Bahrain BRN
9 h2 r1/2 Ian Dobson 26 United States USA
9 h3 r1/2 Alberto García 37 Spain ESP
10 h1 r1/2 Collis Birmingham 23 Australia AUS
10 h2 r1/2 Tony Wamulwa 18 Zambia ZAM
10 h3 r1/2 Philipp Bandi 30 Switzerland SUI
11 h1 r1/2 Geoffrey Kusuro 19 Uganda UGA
11 h2 r1/2 Kevin Sullivan 34 Canada CAN
11 h3 r1/2 Abdelaziz Ennaji El-Idrissi 21 Morocco MAR
12 h1 r1/2 Sultan Khamis Zaman 23 Qatar QAT
12 h2 r1/2 Ali Saïdi-Sief 30 Algeria ALG
12 h3 r1/2 Abdinasir Ibrahim 18 Somalia SOM
13 h1 r1/2 Takayuki Matsumiya 28 Japan JPN
13 h2 r1/2 Nader Al-Massri 28 Palestine PLE
14 h1 r1/2 Soe Min Thu 19 Myanmar MYA