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Bekele signs up for record attempt

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Kenenisa Bekele

5 June 2008


Current Olympic and World 10,000 metres Champion Kenenisa Bekele will make his final competitive appearance before the Beijing Olympics when he races in the 5,000 metres at the Aviva LONDON Grand Prix, Crystal Palace, Saturday 26th July.


Ranked number one in the world as well as having fifteen World Championship golds, (track & cross country) Ethiopian Bekele is already being described as the greatest distant runner of all time.


He is viewing the chance to race in London as a great opportunity for final preparations ahead of Beijing. 


Bekele said: “Running the 5,000 metres at the Aviva LONDON Grand Prix will be an important final race for me as I prepare for the Beijing Olympics. I feel it is vital for me to win this as it would be a great boost for my confidence just before heading off to defend my Olympic 10km title.”


Bekele, who has ran twice over the last three years at Crystal Palace has for this occasion signalled that he will be going for the Stadium record.  Set back in 2004 this is currently held by Haile Gebrselassie standing at 12.55:51.


Bekele is making a habit of breaking Gebrselassie’s records in Britain having previously broken his fellow Ethiopian’s World indoor records for 2000m, 2 mile and 5000m at Birmingham.


Bekele said: “It’s always great to run at Crystal Palace in front of big crowds. So to beat Haile’s stadium record there will certainly be something that I will be going for.”


Bekele who won the 5,000, metres at the London Grand Prix back in 2005, was beaten by Bernard Lagat in 2006 and was absent from last year’s event.


More immediately Bekele will take aim at his own 10,000 metres world record in this Sunday’s Prefontaine Classic in Oregon, USA.


Tickets for the Aviva LONDON Grand Prix at Crystal Palace in London on 25 and 26 July 2008 are available by phone on 08000 556 056 or online at www.ukathletics.net