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."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
fashion
News
news
News
people
Travel
Warner Bros released a mock-up of what the new Central Perk will look like
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Website Editor

£15 - £17 Per Hour: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently r...

Year 1 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: The Job An inner city Birmingham sc...

Year 2 Teacher - Maternity cover

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Year 2 maternity cover, startin...

KS1 Teacher

£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments