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Bekele sets PB in Sheffield

Kenenisa Bekele answers journalists questions - Photo source: AthleticsAfrica Yomi Omogbeja (15/07/2007)

Ethiopian double world record holder for 5,000m and 10,000m, Kenenisa Bekele smashed the UK's All Comers Record with a new personal best of 7.26.69 in the men's 3000m at the Norwich Union British Grand Prix in Sheffield.

The 25-year-old sends a strong signal to all pretenders to his 5000m title in Osaka with a strong performance decimating the field in the last kilometre to win by a huge margin, 13 seconds off the old record held by the great Haile Gebrselassie, which is also a new record for the Don Valley stadium.

With most of the top African athletes missing because of the All African Games currently been held in Algiers, Australian Craig Mottram, 27, who defeated Bekele in a sprint finish at last year’s IAAF World Cup, was a distant second with 7:35.00.

American Chris Solinsky was third in a personal best time of 7:36.90.

Bekele, winner of record 18 World Championships golds including five successive pairs of World Cross Country titles was quite contented with the days work.

He said: "That was a fantastic race. I am very pleased to run that fast. The weather makes it very difficult to run well.

"Today is very special. I ran very hard over the last two laps because it is a much shorter distance than I usually run. I have been training very ghard and it now shows that I am at my best."

Second placed Aussie, Craig Mottram however refused to be put down. "That was not the Craig Mottram that you usually see," he claims.

"I am always disappointed when I don't win. I am clearly better than that. I am going back to London now for a hard couple of weeks training."

Despite his disqualification in his much touted race with the World and Olympic 400m champion Jeremy Wariner, who incidentally did not finish the race, South African and World Paralympic Champion Oscar Pistorius was thankful for the opportunity.

"This was a great opportunity for me to run against some of the greats in my event, he says.

"I've really learned a lot from this. Things like the way they train and the way they compete. I have a long, long way to go before I get to that level. It was very emotional for me on the start. but I hope in time it gets easier."

Click here for complete RACE RESULTS.

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International Amateur Athletics Federation

African Athletics Confederation

Ethiopian Athletics

Norwich Union British Grand Prix Sheffield

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Last updated: 16-Aug-2007 5:22 PM

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