Farah in form to break Bekele's stranglehold

The considerable assets of Kenenisa Bekele have been in deep freeze since 9 January last year. At a snowbound Holyrood Park that Saturday afternoon the all-conquering Ethiopian king of distance running was reduced to a mere also-ran, finishing a shivering fourth in the 9km feature race in the Bupa Great Edinburgh International Cross Country meeting. It was only his second defeat in a cross-country race in eight years.

Bekele has since missed 19 months of racing because of a ruptured calf muscle but will emerge from cold storage in the heat and humidity of Daegu this morning. The big question is whether the great man of the 10,000m – twice an Olympic champion at the distance, four times a world champion and never beaten in the 25-lap event – can avoid being burned off by the hot new property at the top of the distance running game.

The answer will be delivered over the course of 28 or so intriguing minutes, starting at 11.30am British time. Mo Farah lines up as the strong favourite for the men's 10,000m final on day two of the World Championships. Top of the world rankings tree at both 5,000m and 10,000m, the 28-year-old Briton has built up a 10-race unbeaten streak, gathering the momentum of a man with an assured, winning look about him, since moving to the United States to join Alberto Salazar's training group in January.

Untouchable a year ago, with his 5,000m-10,000m double at the European Championships in Barcelona, Farah now appears to be a class apart at global level. The big question is whether he can handle the great expectation. "We will see," Charles van Commenee, the head coach of the British team, said. "The proof of the pudding is in the competition."

Quite. The crunch will come when one of Farah's rivals makes a mid-race move, as surely they must to have any hope of eclipsing the in-form man. Whether Bekele will be in sufficient shape to lay down the gauntlet has to be doubtful. Although he arrived in Daegu in bullish mood on Thursday the diminutive Ethiopian can hardly hope to match Farah's razor-like race sharpness.

The big threat to the Briton could possibly come from Zersenay Tadese, the Eritrean who took silver behind Bekele in the last World Championship final in Berlin two years ago, although he was no match for Farah over the final lap of the 10,000m at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon in June.

"I might be the favourite but I can't think like that," Farah said. "You've got to respect everybody else. Anything can happen on the day. It's just about getting it right."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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: Customer Service Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Retail Buyer / Ecommerce Buyer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - CAD Software Solutions Sales

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...

Ashdown Group: Client Accountant Team Manager - Reading

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police