Ethiopians soar, Bernard Lagat slogs


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BEIJING -- Kenenisa Bekele joined Ethiopian countrywoman Tirunesh Dibaba in sweeping the 5,000 and 10,000 meters.

In winning the 5,000, Bekele became the first man to do the distance double since another Ethiopian, Miruts Yifter, in 1980.


Reigning world champion Bernard Lagat of the United States, running fifth much of the race, fell immediately from contention when Bekele and three Kenyans pushed the pace with three laps to go.

Bekele won in an Olympic record 12 minutes, 57.82 seconds, beating the mark of 13:05.59 set by Moroccan Said Aouita in 1984. Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya was second in 13:02.80, with Edwin Soi of Kenya third in 13:06.22.

Lagat wound up ninth in 13:26.89. He lost 25 seconds in the final two laps.

-- Philip Hersh