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An El G Basher Sees The Light

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  • #16
    Re: An El G Basher Sees The Light

    El G's strength is to sustain speed from 500-800 meters out -- or really, across an entire 1500/mile. That's different than pure sprint speed, which is what failed him in Sydney 2000. He knows that the best of the 5k guys have the ability to sprint just as fast or faster over 400 meters or less -- just as some of his 1500 competitors do -- so his goal was to make that break earlier and sustain a lead. I'm sure he was hoping for a relatively slow pace so he could cut loose in the last two laps. Had he waited, he probably would have taken the bronze at best.

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    • #17
      Re: An El G Basher Sees The Light

      >But if Bekele hadn't forged such a stiff pace,
      >the race probably would have gone out much
      >slower, playing even more into El G's hands, no?
      >Can't it be argued that if Bekele made a mistake
      >it was in letting the pace fall off to those 64s
      >and 65s in mid-race?

      Certainly the
      >let's-surge Kenyans of old would have preyed on
      >El G's inexperience in the event and made the
      >pace fluctuate wildly in the middle, missing with
      >his head somethign fierce.


      And his legs. Kennedy said that little fluctuations throughout the whole race can turn your legs into crap. The Ethiopians have played that trick to perfection lately, so I was very surprised to see that Bekele had to go it alone.

      My personal take on the race was that both Bekele and El G put themselves in positions to win, but their previous hard races took just enough out of them that both made slight misjudgements and wished the finish line had come a few meters sooner.

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      • #18
        Re: An El G Basher Sees The Light

        I agree that running many races in Paris, simply took too much out of El G and Bekele. Running the second half of a 10K in a time only 18 sec. out of the WR, and finishing with a last 200m in 26 sec., appears to have taken a lot out of Bekele's gas tank.

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        • #19
          Re: An El G Basher Sees The Light

          EL G is simply the best athlete in the world in his respective sport.

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          • #20
            Re: An El G Basher Sees The Light

            >>I'm going to bash him a bit for what I think were poor racing tactics. Why on earth is history's fastest miler leading a 5k before the last lap, especially when he's doubling?! I'd have loved to have seen him sit in second or third and then blast a sub 50 last quarter for the gold<<<

            On the IAAF site El G says this---"“I guess that the only mistake that I made was to focus too much on Bekele and possibly to have broken away too soon. I think that if I had waited to 400 metres out to break then I could have won the race.

            “As it is, I started to pull away at 600 metres and then the Kenyan caught me and I had to kick again, then I was concentrating on Bekele and Kipchoge just sprinted pas me – he was going like crazy – I cam back but just could not catch him on the line.”

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            • #21
              Re: An El G Basher Sees The Light

              >On the IAAF site El G says
              this---"“I guess that the only mistake that I
              made was to focus too much on Bekele and possibly
              to have broken away too soon. I think that if I
              ad waited to 400 metres out to break then I
              could have won the race.<

              We'll never know. My reaction as they entered the last lap was that one of the Kenyans was going to come up with a sprint that will catch him. I think if El G had moved later, Kip would have covered the move and still outkicked him. But, again, we'll never know.

              It was a helluva race, wasn't it?

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              • #22
                Re: An El G Basher Sees The Light

                Have the Ethiopians used fluctuating paces? I associate that with the Kenyans. I expected something similar to the M10, with a group of Ethiopians setting a consistent fast pace to break El G. If the Ethiopians had been able to run consistent 62s from the beginning, Bekele might have won. Instead, Bekele went out in 60s, broke his own teammates, and had to drop back to 64s.

                Speculation is self-indulgent and a lot of fun!

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                • #23
                  Re: An El G Basher Sees The Light

                  >OK, I admit it, I was wrong. Way wrong. Hicham El
                  >Guerrouj is a grade-A stud-muffin. He proved it
                  >in the 1500, then confirmed it in the 5K. He can
                  >do it in non set-up races.(snip)

                  Yes, indeed. What I liked best was that he didn't have a teammate setting the pace for him in the 1500. He had to accept the pace that was set (oddly enough, by Estevez), then took it himself from 700m. In the 5K, there was another Moroccan in the race, but El G did not want a particularly fast pace, so pacing was not an issue. He was completely on his own, and proved himself a racer, as well as a great time runner.

                  In the 5K, he took the lead with about a kilo to go, farther out than in the 1500, but only 1/5 of the race distance, less than the portion of the 1500 he lead. I think his aim was similar in both races: not to let the race be decided by a 25-second-or-less last 200 with an explosive acceleration. I thought he did everything he could to win that race, gave it his all and was very gracious in "glorious defeat."

                  Cheers,
                  Alan Shank

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