Newsarchiv Senior Mens races - World Cross Country Championships - PREVIEW

When you establish a sporting reputation as quickly and as supreme as has

Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele since 2001, it should come as no surprise that

your rivals will focus all their attentions on knocking you back down to size.

There is nothing unfair about it, it is just a reality of life.

Bekele versus the world

Therefore at this weekend’s 32nd IAAF World Cross Country

Championships, Brussels, Belgium, the distance running world will be divided

into two camps, Bekele and the rest of the world.

Bekele, the reigning double short and long course champion is entered for

both races in Brussels, and while the annual question of whether or not he will

actually run both distances is again in the air, the more interesting topic in

this Olympic year is the 21 year-old’s growing invincibility on all


Should the World 10,000m champion stride around Brussels’ Park Van

Laken in the same confident manner as he did twelve months before at the

Avenches course at Lausanne – La Broye, then the world’s best

distance runners might as wellcrown Bekele with the Olympic laurels at the same


One race or two for Bekele in Brussels, it really doesn’t matter. The

Kenyans, Tanzanians, Moroccans and perhaps even Bekele’s illustrious

Ethiopian team-mates must now be aware that another soul destroying victory in

Brussels would at the very least tighten the World indoor 5000m record

breakers’ psychological grip over the Olympic Games with just five months

to go before Athens.

Unless injury intervenes - and Bekele has been prone to Achilles problems in

the past - Brussels is perhaps the last redoubt for the rest of the world as it

tries to repel his Olympic assault.