Was adidas 5000m record holder Cheptegei shielded from Nike athlete races?

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Canadian Mo Ahmed holds the 11th fastest time in history over 5000m. It is also the fastest by a North American of all time. At 12:47.20, only four fastest athletes in the world are actively covering the distance. One of them is Ugandan Joshua CHeptegei who holds the world record of 12:35.46.

The Prefontaine Classic, a Diamond League encounter, which took place last week in Eugene, Oregon, brought together the two athletes as well as Ethiopians Selemon Barega (12: 43.02) and Berihu Aregawi (12: 50.05 ). Curiously, Cheptegei ran a different race in a promoted world record attempt. The results of the other 5000m race included Ahmed, Barega and Aregawi.

Results

1 Berihu AREGAWI ETH 12:50.05

2 Samuel TEFERA ETH 13:06.86

3 Selemon BAREGA ETH 13:07.30

4 Mohamed AHMED CAN 13:07.85

5 Getnet WALES ETH 13:11.68

6 Matthew RAMSDEN AUS 13:17.11

7 Brett ROBINSON AUS 13:21.59

8 Sam PARSONS GER 13:21.85

9 George BEAMISH NZL 13:29.88

10 Richard YATOR KEN 13:31.88

11 Luis GRIJALVA GUA 13:36.93

Bethwell BIRGEN KEN DNF

Paul CHELIMO USA DNF

Craig NOWAK USA DNF

Cheptegei did not run fast enough to win the other 5000m. He finished in 12:57.99. Not even close to his own world record. Second place was back. Milkesa Mengesha of Ethiopia clocked a final time of 13:01.11. His personal best is not even close to Cheptegei’s at 12:58.28. Daniel Ebenyo of Kenya was third in 13:10.62. His best time is more than eight seconds slower than Ahmed’s at 12:55.88.

For a competition that had athletes able to push Cheptegei to a faster time, what were they thinking?

Cheptegei is an adidas sponsored athlete. Ahmed is with the Nike Bowerman Track Club. Was the Cheptegei camp protecting the adidas brand from being beaten by an athlete wearing Nike? Aregawi, who holds the world record for 5K on the roads with his 12:49 is also a Nike sponsored athlete.

The brand may explain why Aregawi ran the 5K as if he was aiming for some sort of record. He led from the gun to the boards and amassed what seemed like an insurmountable lead at first. It was. He won and ran faster than Cheptegei, but they didn’t meet. Berega is also a Nike sponsored athlete.

Second to Cheptegei, Milkesa Mengesha is also an adidas athlete.

LetsRun.com speculated that Cheptegei was potentially protected by his leadership group.

However, their assertion was meant to let Cheptegei focus on the world record. Rather than racing athletes, he may have planned to race against the clock. But he was so far from that goal that it doesn’t seem possible.

Ahmed told LetsRun that he asked to run Cheptegei. And to add: “Maybe I was not good enough.”

He also said in a post-race interview that he “wishes he had responded sooner.” As if his fourth place was a tactical error.

At the end of the day, fans lost the opportunity for a great race both on television and live, as well as for those who showed up at the new Hayward Field, which will host the World Championships. athletics 2022. .

The sport of athletics needs help. The Prefontaine Classic lived up to most of its hype, but dropped the ball in the men’s 5000m.

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