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Kenenisa Bekele to Take Part in Great Manchester Run


The three-time Olympic champion Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele is to race Wilson Kipsang of Kenya over 10km at the Great Manchester Run on May 22, 2016.

Kenenisa Bekele has been added to the line-up for this month’s Great Manchester Run.

Ethiopia’s three-time Olympic and five-time world track gold medalist made a strong return to racing after 11 months out with an Achilles injury, finishing third at last month’s Virgin Money London Marathon in 2:06.36.

He will now contest Europe’s biggest 10km on Sunday, May 22, when he will take on the likes of Wilson Kipsang – the former marathon world record-holder who was fifth in London – and Zane Robertson.

Bekele, who holds the world records over 5000m and 10,000m, won his Olympic gold medals in the 10,000m in 2004 and 2008, when he also claimed gold in the 5,000m.

Also an 11-time World Cross Country Championships winner, Bekele will take his place on the start line at the IAAF Gold Label event in Manchester with his focus this year on the Olympic marathon after he impressed with his display in London.

The 33-year-old had confessed that he was only at 90 per cent fitness ahead of the marathon, having completed just six weeks’ specific training for the event. On the day, he missed five of his drinks bottles during the race after the course pacers mistakenly took them first.

A winner in Manchester in 2014 after beating Wilson Kipsang into second place, Bekele also won the Great North Run in 2013 from Mo Farah and Haile Gebrselassie.

Kenenisa Bekele joins Wilson Kipsang, Robertson and compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba, who was announced last week, on the start line in Manchester, alongside Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat and Great Britain’s Gemma Steel.

The Great Manchester Run is the final part of a weekend of running action in the city, with the Great CityGames Manchester kicking things off on Friday, May 20, followed by the Junior and Mini Great Manchester Run on the Saturday.