Bekele outshines Farah

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LONDON — Kenenisa Bekele and Mo Farah are looking forward to extending their rivalry to the full marathon after their thrilling battle in the Great North Run half marathon on Sunday.

Reuters

On his debut at the 13,1 mile half-marathon distance, Bekele — the 31-year-old Ethiopian who completed 5 000m-10 000m doubles at the 2007 World Championships, 2008 Olympics and 2009 World Championships — emerged from three years of injury troubles to get the better of Farah, the 30-year-old Briton who has dominated global distance running on the track in the past two years.

In a gripping finale, Bekele took advantage of a steep downhill drop on to the mile-long stretch towards the finish line on South Shields seafront to open a 20m gap on Farah, who won the 5 000m and 10 000m at the World Championships in Moscow last month, and also to leave the veteran Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie running for third place.

Farah dug deep in the final half a mile and came close to retrieving the deficit, but Bekele hung on to win by a second in
60min 9sec.

Asked whether he had reminded the running world that he was still a major force, Bekele replied: “Yes, because I have had injuries for a long time — three years. Now, I am recovered and my running is getting better. I am doing well again.”