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IAAF.org: Prestigious start list augurs well for Lausanne - Preview

Bekele – last outing before Athens

05.07.2004

Lausanne, Switzerland - The Stade Olympique de la Pontaise is set to celebrate a fabulous night of action on Tuesday 6 July for the Athletissima IAAF Super Grand Prix meeting.

In the city, where the International Olympic Commitee and Olympic Museum are based, this meeting has assembled an impressive array of World and Olympic champions with just a month and a half to go to the beginning of the Olympic track and field programme in the Greek capital.

Bekele – last outing before Athens

The Athletissima meeting will be highlighted by the appearance of World 5000 and 10,000 metres record holder Kenenisa Bekele in the former event, in what will be his his last competive outing before the Olympic Games.

Bekele has during this season followed in the footsteps of his great predecessor Haile Gebrselassie by claiming two World records in just ten days. In the 5000m at last years Athletissima the Ethiopian won in a very easy 13:06.05 after clocking a sensational 52.64 in the last lap. Any other finishing position than first tomorrow for Bekele would be one of the biggest shocks in recent athletics history.

The rest of the field includes Bekeles compatriots Sileshi Sihine, who was second in the Rome Golden League meeting with 12:47.04, the junior Mulugeta Wondimu (second in Hengelo in 13:01.28), Markos Geneti, and Abyote Abate (PB 13:00.36). The Kenyan challenge is led by John Kibowen, fourth placer at the World Championships in Paris (12:54.07 - PB), the 2001 World champion Richard Limo (12:59.37 in Rome on Friday), and Benjamin Limo, the World silver medallist in the 5000 metres in Seville 1999.

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