WHAT CAN HAPPEN IN THE 5000m FINAL ?
For all people loving middle distances, the final of 5000m Men is one occasion of discussion and the hope to enjoy a thrilling competition.
I think the medals, at the end of the race, can go to some athlete from the group of Ethiopians and Kenyans, plus obviously Mo Farah.
In my opinion, the chances of Bernard Lagat and Galen Rupp to win a medal are very few, and honestly I don’t think possible for them any result in top 3, with any kind of competition.
I think the first 2 km can be very tactic, and the athletes need to be able to stay relaxed, avoiding every accident (for example, to be spiked) very common when there is a slow pace and the group is very compact.
Probably, somebody start to move about half of the race, more easy can be a Kenyan (Isaiah Koech or Thomas Longosiwa) than an Ethiopian.
The Ethiopians prefer to wait the last lap, knowing Mo is used to go in front with 1 km to go, for making a strong progression, without really kicking.
If we speak about short kick, 3 athletes have this attitude more than the others : Muktar Edris (World Junior Champion of 10000m last year), Yenew Alamirew and Edwin Soi, while Hagos Gebrihwet, Isaiah Koech and Thomas Longosiwa prefer a more long final progressively increasing the speed, like Mo Farah.
Looking at Ethiopians, I suppose Gebrihwet can try something in the last km, before the last lap, while Edris and Alamirew want to wait till last 50m, for trying to overtake Mo Farah in the same way Jeylan did two years ago in 10000m. Same solution for Soi.
The fact is that probably the last 2 km must be run under 5:00 if the race is very slow before, such as happened in OG.
I think the best talent in the field is Yenew Alamirew, who in 2010 suddenly ran 7:28.82 in September in Milan, escaping with the last km in 2:25.0. He has speed for fast 1500m (not very far from Mo Farah), and ability to maintain high speed for long time. Till 2 years ago, his best distance was 3000m, not existing in any outdoor Championship, but in the last season he worked for increasing his endurance, so probably can be competitive in this race.
Edris doesn’t know his possibilities, being new in this event at top level. However, doesn’t suffer any subjection, and can be dangerous because is naïve.
Gebrihwet didn’t have a season like last year, but in the past showed to have the ability to win in any condition.
About Kenyans, I want to point the fact there was not any turnover in the event during the last 6 years. Edwin Soi won bronze medal in OG 2008, and was again in Olympics last year, unlucky because suffered for a bronchitis one week before the heats+. He was in better shape than Thomas Longosiwa, was stronger in any workout, and probably could be already the more tough opponent for Mo Farah at the end of the race, if not sick.
Thomas Longosiwa already represented Kenya in WCh 2009-2011 (when fell down with 550m to go and, after picking himself up off the track, finished the last lap at the same speed of Mo Farah) and in Olympics last year, winning an unexpected bronze medal. He can have some chance of podium, but I don’t think can really hope to win, and the same for Isaiah Koech.
The other athletes are in the same pott, and position between 6 and 10 can be determined more by psychological attitude and motivation, than by big real differences in their value. In this group, Bernard Lagat and Ryan Hill can have a good position, ready to benefit by some mistake or moral fall of other competitors. About Rupp, he has talent and preparation for beating some African eventually running under the expectation, but I don’t see in him the attitude for changing his speed quickly in case of slow race, such as Mo Farah is able to do.
It’s a fact that, in this season, the gap between Mo and Galen grew instead decreasing, and for that reason I see him out of the podium.