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 Bekele Dominates World Cross-Country Championships
Submitted by Rickshaw :: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:39 am
Kenenisa Bekele is the king of distance running. On Sunday, the 22 year old Ethiopian completed an unprecedented fourth straight double victory in the 4K and 12K events at the World Cross-Country Championships in France. Running over difficult, muddy courses, Bekele drew on the energy of the enthusiastic crowd to propel himself to victory in Satuday's short course race, and again in Sunday's long course race. Afterwards he reflected "This double means more than all the others put together."

Bekele's dominance had seemed to be in question only a few weeks earlier. Following the sudden death of his fiancee Alem Techale in January, he entered a period of mourning, and withdrew from active training and racing for a time. His first few races after coming back to competition did not go well, including an indoor event in which he miscounted the laps. Given his recent performances and obvious mental distractions, some observers began to wonder if the long-dominant Bekele might have lost the heart to compete at the highest levels. In the end, however, Bekele appeared to turn his personal tragedy into a new hunger to win, firmly cementing his place as the world's best distance runner and perhaps the greatest cross-country runner ever.

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