Ethiopia's Bekele repeats as Olympic 10,000-metre champ
Canadians fail to reach 1,500 final
Ethiopians Kenenise Bekele and Sileshi Sihine once again placed first and second in the 10,000-metre finals at the Beijing Olympics on Day 9, a repeat of their showing at the Athens Games four years ago.
Bekele won gold in a time of 27 minutes, 1.17 seconds. He took almost four seconds off his own Olympic record although he was short of the world record in the event that he set in 2005.
He was 1.6 seconds ahead of Sihine, who has now won silver behind Bekele in the event at two Olympic Games, as well as the 2007 and 2005 world championships.
Micah Kogo of Kenya narrowly beat countryman Ndiema Masai to take the bronze. Both finished at 27:04.11, the tiebreaker going down to thousandths of a second.
Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea was fifth, followed by Ethiopian legend Haile Gebrselassie.
Gebrselassie won the 10,000 at the Atlanta and Sydney Olympics.
Eric Gillis of Antigonish, N.S., was 33rd but all smiles as he crossed the finish line in his first Olympics in 29:08.10.
No Canadians in 1,500-metre final
Canadians Kevin Sullivan and Nate Brannen will not compete in the men's 1,500-metre final at Bird's Nest Stadium at the Beijing Olympics.
Brannen of Cambridge, Ont., ran three minutes, 39.10 seconds for seventh in his men's semifinal heat on Day 9.
"It went horrible, I just didn’t have it tonight, didn’t have the legs," said Brannen. "I was aiming to make the final, but I learned here in the first round that I could outkick the best in the world."
Three-time Olympian Sullivan of Brantford, Ont., was 10th in his semifinal.
"I didn't have the wheels to run with those guys … I made a run at it down the backstretch but just couldn't get myself close enough," Sullivan told CBC Sports.
Sullivan is entered in the 5,000-metre event later in the week.
So is Bernard Lagat of the United States, who also did not advance to the 1,500 final despite having won the event at the world championships last year.
The other favourites did not disappoint. Asbel Kiprop of Kenya and Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain won the heats.
Kiprop ran 3:37.04, while Ramzi clocked in at 3:37.11.
Kenya's Augustine Choge was not among the leaders, but will race in the final, as will Andy Baddeley of Great Britain, Abdaalati Iguider of Morocco, and Spain's Juan Carlos Higuero.
Lopez Lamong, the Sudanese refugee who carried the flag for his adopted homeland of the U.S., did not qualify for the final, which takes place on Tuesday.
Russian wins first Olympic steeplechase
Gulnara Galkina-Samitova of Russia set a world record to win the women's 3,000-metre women's steeplechase gold medal.
Galkina-Samitova won in a time of eight minutes, 58.81 seconds, shaving nearly three seconds off her own record.
The silver medallist was Eunice Jepkorir of Kenya, in a time of 9:07.41. Ekaterina Volkova of Russia came in at 9:07.64 for bronze.
Volkova had won the event at the 2007 world championships in Osaka.
It was the Olympic debut for the women's steeplechase event.