Thursday, May 15, 2008

Meseret Defar to make WR attempt at 5000m...

And you thought the prelude to the Nike Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field in Eugene couldn't get any better with the addition of Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele?

Fellow Ethiopian Meseret Defar (left/photo by Paul Merca) will take a shot at her own world record of 14:16.63, which she set last year in Oslo.

“Meseret is focusing on running fast at the Prefontaine Classic,” said her representative Mark Wetmore. “Her training is geared toward that race.”

As with Kenenisa Bekele's 10k record attempt, the 5k will be run in the morning, right after the conclusion of the 10k.

“We certainly found something worthwhile to fill up some of the time between the 10k and the rest of the meet,” said meet director Tom Jordan. “Meseret has been one of the most consistent performers in the sport over the last four years, and to have her attempt the world record in Eugene is perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the fans at the Pre Classic.” To help establish a fast pace, Olga Komyagina of Russia will fly in for the meet. Komyagina finished 5th in this year's World Indoor Championships 3000 meter race, which Defar won.

In addition to that gold, and winning the gold in Athens, Defar won 5k gold at last summer's World Championships in Osaka, silver in the 2005 World Champs, and was named Track & Field News's 2007 Athlete of the Year.

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