Best race: World Cham­pi­onships, Paris 2003

Athletics Weekly - - Statistics -

ELEVEN days ear­lier, Kenya’s Com­mon­wealth steeple­chase cham­pion Stephen Cherono – now Saif Saaeed Sha­heen of Qatar – had beaten the Kenyan cham­pion Ezekiel Kemboi by one hun­dredth of a se­cond. The re­match was an­other su­perb race.

Sha­heen blasted off with a sub-60 first lap and was well in­side world record pace at 1000m in 2:36.24 as he led by 30 me­tres but he be­gan to slow and Kemboi surged to catch him as the pair passed 2000m in 5:19.16, which was still faster than dur­ing Brahim Boulami’s world record.

How­ever the pair vir­tu­ally slowed to a jog and this al­lowed three ath­letes to catch up, in­clud­ing the home crowd’s favourite Bouab­del­lah Tahri and five went through the bell be­fore Kemboi sprinted wildly down the back straight and then Sha­heen surged past. Kemboi went back past over the fi­nal bar­rier but the Qatari found one last kick to beat the Kenyan.

Re­sult: 1 Saif Saaeed Sha­heen (QAT) 8:04.39; 2 Ezekiel Kemboi (KEN) 8:05.11; 3 Eliseo Martin (ESP) 8:09.09; 4 Bouab­del­lah Tahri (FRA) 8:10.65; 5 Abra­ham Cherono (KEN) 8:13.37; 6 Luis Martin (ESP) 8:13.52; 7 Si­mon Vroe­man (NED) 8:13.71; 8 Jose Blanco (ESP) 8:17.16; 9 Juska Keskisalo (FIN) 8:17.72; 10 Ali Ezzine (MAR) 8:19.15

Saif Saaeed Sha­heen: vic­tory in clas­sic 2003 world fi­nal

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