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Kogo and Masai hope a repeat of Beijing chase yields gold

By | July 29th 2009 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

By Mutwiri Mutuota

As the men’s 10,000m final at the iconic Bird’s Nest in Beijing last year drew to conclusion, Micah Kogo and Moses Masai engaged in a gladiatorial tussle for the bronze medal at the homestretch.

By then, Ethiopian duo, Kenenisa Bekele (27:01.17) and Sileshi Sihine (27:02.77) had done enough to kill the Kenyan challenge for gold and silver with a devastating breakaway at the bell.

The clock stopped at 27:04.11 when Kogo and Masai crossed the line and uncertain moments followed as race officials studied video footage to decide whom to award bronze.

My Legs

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Micah Kogo and Moses Masai train at Kasarani on Tuesday. Photo: Moses Omusula/Standard

"We took our flag and proceeded on a lap of honour around the stadium. Looking at replays on the big screens, we could not decide who would be given the medal. Then an announcement was made, Micah Kogo," Masai recollects.

"Some angles showed my legs had crossed the line first, others showed his chest had crossed first," Kogo adds.

That was then. With both runners being granted a rematch in Berlin via wildcard selection, it is their intention to chase each other to the line, only this time, in the first two positions.

"It is good to be in the team again and we will work hard for victory in Berlin. We will do our best," Kogo said.

"I’m happy to be in the team and what remains is to work hard to be the best," Masai added.

Together with World Cross silver medallist from 2007, Bernard Kipyego, Masai and Kogo– who holds World 10km road race record (27:01)–are primed for glory in Berlin.

The pair was among a number of selected athletes for Berlin who began trickling in for residential training at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, yesterday.

And as they chased each other on the tartan track during their training routine the watchful eyes of new man at the helm, Peter Mathu, could not help but fathom a situation where they would be vying for the top two medals at Berlin’s Olympics Stadium.

"Kipyego will join them soon and we are working to ensure the 10,000m men’s team delivers. Overall, the team we have is the best and we are aiming to perform well," Mathu, who took the head coach whistle from Julius Kirwa on Saturday said.

Unlike the 2005 Helsinki World Championships where Kenya returned her worst performance in the history of the event with only a lone gold won, Mathu who was part of the coaching set-up then sees a different scenario as he prepares for his first assignment as a technical bench leader.

Ready To Listen

"Before Helsinki, many of the athletes were not with us here but now all the athletes we have selected are here with us and ready to listen to us," Mathu said.

Women 10,000m runners, Linet Masai and Grace Momanyi in addition to Joyce Zakari (400m women), Mark Mutai (men 400m), Jackson Kivuva (men 800m), Joseph Ebuya (men 5,000m), Ruth Bosibori (3,000m women steeplechase) and Iness Chenonge (women 5,000m) were also in training. More were expected last evening and this morning except World and Olympics steeplechase champion, Brimin Kipruto who is bereaved.

Helinski Berlin Beijing Kogo Maasai
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