Kenenisa Bekele and Linet Masai Recognized for Medals, Consistency
the world’s most comprehensive source of middle and long distance
running results and news, selected Bekele and Masai both for their
dramatic victories at the IAAF World Championships and consistency
throughout their respective seasons.
season at 3000 meters and above, including two world titles, made him a
clear choice,” said Editor and Publisher, David Monti. “But it was a
tougher call to pick Masai. World champions Maryam Yusuf Jamal of
Bahrain (1500m) and Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya (5000m) also had terrific
early season 1500m, Bekele, 27, went on to win ten consecutive races.
He not only won the world titles at both 5000m and 10,000m, but
recorded the fastest times of the year for both of those distances
(12:52.32 and 26:46.31, respectively). He was also the second-fastest
athlete at 3000m, and won a share of the IAAF Golden League Jackpot by
winning all six races he contested at Golden League events.
championship race or a big invitational, the result was the same,” said
Assistant Editor Bob Ramsak. “At the World Championships he controlled
the 5000m final perfectly, mustering a better sprint than even Bernard
Lagat, one of history’s greatest milers. It’s just amazing that he ran
20,000 total meters at the World Championships and ran his very last
lap in 53.7 seconds.”
world champion at 10,000m at just 19 years-old, passing Ethiopia’s
Meselech Melkamu at the line to win by 1/10th of a second.
She was also the silver medallist at the IAAF World Cross Country
Championships in the senior division, and notched 9 victories in 16
podium finishes on all three surfaces (cross country, road and track).
For good measure, she ran the world-leading time at ten miles (50:39).
Cross gave her a tiny edge over Jamal and Cheruiyot,” explained Monti.
“Jamal was absolutely dominant at 1500m, and Cheruiyot had 15 total
victories and fast times on both the track and the roads. But it was
Masai who made two trips to the medal stand.”
2009 Runners of the Year, the editors considered each athlete’s entire
competitive record for the year, but ultimately gave the greatest
weight to their best and most inspiring performances, especially at
major championships when the stakes were highest.
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