Athletics: Shaheen record run lifts after-show party

For Berhane Adere at least, the Memorial Van Damme meeting in the Stade Roi Baudouin last night was supposed to have been the Lord Mayor's Show, not after it. While the vast majority of competitors in what doubled as the fifth and penultimate leg of the IAAF Golden League series might have been struggling to raise their game so soon after aspiring to Olympian heights in Athens, the Ethiopian distance runner would have had no difficulty in motivating herself for 12 and half laps of the Brussels arena.

For Saif Saaeed Shaheen, the Memorial Van Damme in the Stade Roi Baudouin last night was the Lord Mayor's Show, not after it. He made the most of it, steeplechasing in all his pomp to a new world record on a night when the majority of participants in the fifth meeting of six in the IAAF Golden League series struggled to raise their game so soon after aspiring to Olympian heights in Athens.

Denied a shot at Olympic gold in the Greek capital by the Kenyan Olympic Committee, whose blessing was required following the 21-year-old's controversial transfer of allegiance to Qatar last summer, the steeplechasing artist formerly known as Stephen Cherono vented all of his frustration on his high-speed seven-and-a-half lap sojourn of the Brussels arena.

Cutting loose from his pacemakers with 1,100 metres remaining, Shaheen blitzed to victory in the 3,000m steeplechase in 7min 53.63sec, raising the index finger of his right hand before crossing the line and consigning Brahim Boulami's 7:55.28, set on the same track three years ago, to history. As it happened, the Moroccan Boulami finished in the native East African's wake, as did Paul Koech and Brimin Kipruto, the Kenyans who took the silver and bronze medals in Athens.

For Shaheen, it was a bitter-sweet triumph. He still lives in Kenya and he feared for his life after assuming Qatari citizenship last year, for the promise of a lifelong monthly stipend of $1,000. "At the end of last year, when I came back to Kenya after a reception at the Sheikh's palace in Doha, my life was hell," he confided. "Everybody wanted money and for two months I was hiding. Almost every day I left my house in Eldoret very early in the morning and came back late in the evening. It didn't feel safe any more. I could have ended up getting killed. In Kenya sometimes people kill even for five dollars."

In Belgium last night, Shaheen had 47,125 spectators on their feet with a tour de force that compensated for Hicham El Guerrouj's late withdrawal from the flat 3,000m. "I'm sorry, but I was sick when I was warming up," the exhausted winner of the Olympic 1,500m and 5,000m said.

Berhane Adere was a late withdrawal from the women's 5,000m, leaving the Kenyan Edith Masai to sprint to victory in 14:42.64, with Jo Pavey 0.45sec outside her personal best in third, clocking 14:49.11, and her fellow Briton, Kathy Butler, fifth in a lifetime best of 15:05.51.

After crossing the line, Pavey, fifth in the 5,000m final in Athens, collapsed in a state of exhaustion. "I am tired," she said. "After the Games, another fast 5,000m was just too much."

And another fast 400m was just too much for Tim Benjamin. Having reached the semi-finals of his event in Athens, and set the British 4 x 400m relay team on the way to fifth place in their final, whilst battling a lung infection, the young Welshman looked fatigued as he trailed in eighth in 45.85.

* Hungarian authorities yesterday called on the hammer thrower Adrian Annus, who was stripped of his Olympic gold medal after refusing to take a follow-up drugs test, to return his medal.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there