Athletics: Bekele is confident of beating strong field to retain title

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The Independent Online

The 5,000 metres world record holder Kenenisa Bekele will defend his title at the Norwich Union London Grand Prix on 28 July.

The 24-year-old Ethiopian was surprisingly beaten by Kenya's Isaac Songok in his last appearance over the distance at the IAAF Golden League meeting four weeks ago in Oslo. But Bekele is adamant he can stage a repeat of last year's race at Crystal Palace when he out-sprinted Australia's Commonwealth silver medallist Craig Mottram.

Songok might be missing from the field, but it will still be the strongest at any meeting in this year's IAAF World Athletics Tour. Augustine Choge heads the Kenyan challenge and his finishing pace could cause another upset.

But Bekele, who has enjoyed a successful training period following his Oslo defeat, is adamant he will be well prepared to record a second successive victory and said: "I'm ready to go out and run a fast time. The fact I'm racing the likes of Mottram and Choge will only serve to spur me on further. I'm really pleased with my form at the moment - I've had a great year so far winning the World Indoors 3,000m title as well as my fifth consecutive world cross-country double."

The former world champion Eliud Kipchoge and Bernard Lagat, his former Kenyan team-mate before switching to American citizenship, also compete.

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