Kiprop strides to victory as Bekele suffers

 

Edinburgh

Kenenisa Bekele arrived in Edinburgh on Friday insisting he was not afraid of Mo Farah as he looked ahead to the defence of his Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m crowns against the dominant new British force of global distance running. By the end of the feature race in the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country meeting yesterday, the man Farah calls "the Usain Bolt of distance running" was reduced to the role of an also-ran, trailing home 11th in the shadow of Arthur's Seat.

The diminutive Ethiopian might be the fastest 5,000m and 10,000m runner of all time but he toiled like a club runner in the Edinburgh mud. Indeed, Bekele found himself being outsprinted in the 3km short-course race by Andy Wiles, one of two members of New Marske Harriers to claim his treasured scalp. In a race won at a mightily impressive canter by Asbel Kiprop – the Kenyan prevailing by five seconds in 9min 20sec – Wiles was one of five British runners who left "King Kenny" in their wake: the others were the 19-year-old Jonny Hay of Aldershot, Farnham and District Athletics Club, who outkicked the former world 5,000m champion Eliud Kipchoge for second place; Wiles's club-mate Ricky Stevenson (fifth); and Ross Millington (sixth) and Steve Vernon (ninth), both members of Stockport Harriers.

Vernon had already run for Britain in the 8km race, finishing seventh, yet still finished a second ahead of Bekele, who crossed the line in 9min 42sec. Not that the great man was perturbed by his poor form at the start of London Olympic year.

Asked whether it was "a big setback", Bekele smiled and replied: "I'm not serious for this race. At this time of the year I don't want to be in very good shape. It is too early. It is a long time to the Olympics. I want to build up slowly."

But not quite this slowly, surely. Bekele had insisted on Friday that he was in better shape than he had been last year but presumably he was referring to 12 months ago, when he was overweight and considering retirement after a year on the injured list, rather than to the summer of 2011, when he failed to finish the World Championship 10,000m final on his return to competition and then clocked the fastest 10,000m time of the year in Brussels a fortnight later.

Asked whether he had ever finished 11th in a race before, the 29-year-old six-times world cross-country long-course champion shrugged and smiled again. "This is not my position," Bekele said. "I am not happy, but what can I do?"

Given Bekele's two-week turnaround from failing to stay the distance at the World Championships in Daegu to his 26min 43.10sec clocking in Brussels, nobody will be penning his 2012 Olympic obituary – least of all Farah, who succeeded the Ethiopian as world 5,000m champion last summer and who is currently training in Kenya.

Kiprop, though, was impressive. Despite the cloying conditions, there was a spring in the loping stride of the man who collected an Olympic gold medal only last month – a belated reward for his promotion from runner-up in the 2008 1500m in Beijing following the disqualification of the drug-taking Bahraini, Rashid Ramzi.

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Chelsea are interested in loaning out Romelu Lukaku to Everton again next season
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
News
people
Extras
indybest
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

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

Microsoft Dynamics AX Functional Consultant

£65000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A rare opportun...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?