WITH MANY HUNDREDS of Doha-based Ethiopian workers enjoying a rare timeout in the stands, where songs were sung and flags were waved for hours on end, the runners they had come to support just had to deliver on the night—and they duly did. There were rapturous scenes by the start of the backstraight as fans gathered there acclaimed the gold and silver medalists after Muktar Edris had successfully defended his title, having outsprinting his 19-year-old teammate Selemon Barega.
The race was fascinating from the gun as the Ethiopian contingent—with Telahun Haile, who did much of the early pacing, eventually finishing 4th—vying with the Norwegian contingent in the form of the Ingebrigtsen brothers—Henrik, Filip and 19-year-old European champion Jakob. In the end, the Ethiopians tried to run the final fizz out of Norway, and Jakob in particular—and it worked.
Edris won in a season’s best of 12:58.85, with Barega clocking 12:59.70 and Canada’s Moh Ahmed (13:01.11) frustrating the Ethiopian clean sweep by winning the chase for bronze over Haile. Behind him, the bold challenge of Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who had taken the lead, with frequent backward glances, in the backstraight, had been run down to the point of exhaustion. Barega’s contemporary barely managed to reach the line, diving over to secure 5th in 13:02.93.
Edris was an understandably jubilant figure afterwards, repeating his gesture after he had beaten Mo Farah to this title two years ago in London by doing the “Mobot” made famous by the Briton. Perhaps he now means it to represent M for Muktar. “I struggled so much during the last years, overcoming many injuries, and so I am grateful to win today,” he said. “One year ago I injured my ankle, then I got some abdominal problems, and I did not do well at the meetings. But I did not feel pain coming here so I thought, ‘Maybe I can fight for the victory.’ It was so great to see all the people cheering. With fans like that, you win.”
Barega commented: “I feel very nice, fantastic. The race was a tactical race. We knew that we had to push because if the race was too slow then the Norwegians would sprint away in the last lap. So we paced hard and pushed. One of us had to go fast. All Ethiopians are happy now. Inside this stadium they celebrate like crazy and it was wonderful for us. I am very happy now.”
Wisconsin alum Ahmed said, “It’s good to get a medal for Canada. I have been dreaming about this for a very long time, starting from high school. I made a big move with three laps to go. It’s nice to mix it up with those guys. I was sort of off the podium with 450m to go but I was still there with 150m to go and I said, ‘I am not going to be denied.’ This is a stepping stone. I am now going to prepare for the 10,000. Hopefully it’s better.”
A deflated Ingebrigtsen, whose brothers fared worse—Filip dropped out and Henrik finished 13th—said, “I’m OK but I would like to have got a medal. It was just one of those races. The Ethiopians ran really hard but I tried to stay calm and do my best race ever. I was pretty close to a medal but now I just have to go back home and practice some more and I’ll be on top.”
WC MEN’S 5000 RESULTS
(September 30) (temperature 81F/27C; humidity 76%)
1. Muktar Edris (Eth) 12:58.85
(2:39.31, 2:36.03 [5:15.34], 2:38.37 [7:53.71], 2:40.84 [10:34.55], 2:24.30)
(13.34, 27.29, 55.07, 1:54.06, 3:59.63;
2. Selemon Barega (Eth) 12:59.70
(14.29, 28.14, 56.42, 1:55.20, 4:01.14) (5:14.64);
3. Moh Ahmed (Can) 13:01.11
(14.29, 28.14, 56.42, 1:55.20, 4:01.14) (10:33.93);
4. Telahun Haile (Eth) 13:02.29
5. Jakob Ingebrigtsen (Nor) 13:02.93;
6. Jacob Kiprop (Ken) 13:03.08 PR;
7. Paul Chelimo (US) 13:04.60
(17.14, 33.00, 61.19, 2:00.23, 4:05.87);
8. Nicholas Kimeli (Ken) 13:05.27;
9. Birhanu Yemataw (Bhr) 13:14.66;
10. Justyn Knight (Can) 13:26.63;
11. Hassan Mead (US) 13:27.05;
12. Stewart McSweyn (Aus) 13:30.41;
13. Henrik Ingebrigtsen (Nor) 13:36.25;
14. Isaac Kimeli (Bel) 13:44.29;
… dnf—Filip Ingebrigtsen (Nor).
I–1. Barega 13:24.69; 2. Kiprop 13:24.94; 3. Edris 13:25.00; 4. J. Ingebrigtsen 13:25.20; 5. Ahmed 13:25.35; 6. Yemataw 13:25.70;
7. Andrew Butchart (GB) 13:26.46; 8. Morgan McDonald (Aus) 13:26.80; 9. Ben True (US) 13:27.39; 10. Patrick Tiernan (Aus) 13:28.42; 11. Yemaneberhan Crippa (Ita) 13:29.08; 12. Julien Wanders (Swi) 13:38.95; 13. Robin Hendrix (Bel) 13:39.69; 14. Oscar Chelimo (Uga) 13:42.94; 15. Marc Scott (GB) 13:47.12; 16. Richard Ringer (Ger) 13:49.20; 17. Jamal Abdelmaji Eisa Mohammed (ART) 14:15.32 PR; 18. Tariq Ahmed Al-Amri (Sau) 14:21.19; 19. Braima Suncar Dabó (GBi) 18:10.87 PR;… dq—Jonathan Busby (Aru).
II–1. Chelimo 13:20.18; 2. Haile 13:20.45; 3. F. Ingebrigtsen 13:20.52; 4. McSweyn 13:20.58; 5. Kimeli 13:20.82; 6. Kimeli 13:20.99; 7. H. Ingebrigtsen 13:21.22; 8. Mead 13:22.11; 9. Knight 13:25.95; 10. Stephen Kissa (Uga) 13:27.36;
11. Ibrahim Hassan Bouh (Dji) 13:36.39; 12. Ben Connor (GB) 13:36.92; 13. Sam Parsons (Ger) 13:38.53; 14. Abadi Hadis (Eth) 13:42.89; 15. Soufiyan Bouqantar (Mor) 14:03.16; 16. Tachlowini Gabriyesos (ART) 14:28.11 PR;… dnf—Said El Otmani (Ita), Viro Ma (Cam);… dnf—Gerard Giraldo (Col). ◻︎