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An El G Basher Sees The Light

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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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  • Grazer
    replied
    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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  • tandfman
    replied
    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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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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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  • miler manque
    replied
    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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  • gh
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Grazer
    replied
    Re: An El G Basher Sees The Light

    I thought Bekele was the tactical disaster. If you want to wear out El G, you have to set a pace that you can maintain yourself. Bekele went out too fast, and non of his compatriots could pick it up for him. El G hung on without a problem and Bekele was toast.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: An El G Basher Sees The Light

    Another way to think about whether El G's tactics were good or bad: Surely going into the race, he was primarily asking himself the question, "How can I beat Bekele and Chebii?" He answered that question rightly, and he did it! His tactics worked to perfection for beating those two. Unfortunately for him, Kipchoge also ran the perfect race.

    If he had yielded the initiative to others until the last 250m, he would have been no better than 3rd, and might have been out of the medals.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: An El G Basher Sees The Light

    Django

    "I also admired the way that, instead of folding when he was passed near the finish, he fought back."

    Absolutely!! The last 20 meters were the best. That could have been 2 High School kids battling for the district crown - step for step, legs buckling. You just don't see a guy like El G in that state very often. When his form went south the last 5 meters you knew he was completely spent - also how about his class right after the race to congradulate the winner - nice.

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  • Django
    replied
    Re: An El G Basher Sees The Light

    Add me to the list of those who've really become fans--- I thought it was really courageous of him to make a sustained effort from so far out, and take the risk of being out-kicked in the final straight. I also admired the way that, instead of folding when he was passed near the finish, he fought back.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: An El G Basher Sees The Light

    I also believe El G tactics should have been wait till 250M out then kick. Starting his effort a mile out would have just pulled then group along.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: An El G Basher Sees The Light

    Just because El G has more speed, it doesn't mean he has more "speed" at the end of a 5k - but he almost did. All three guys ran 53+. The way/level lactate builds up in the 1500 is different. Bekele could never hang with El G in a super fast 1500.

    El G did what he had to do. If had tried to sit back, the other guys would have taken off with a couple of laps to go anyway. He did what usually does with great success in his own event.

    Yes, El G showed that he does have some real guts. And maybe he's learned a thing or two for a double in Athens.

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