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Surendra finishes 26th in 10,000m

August 17, 2008 22:50 IST

Surendra Singh's hopes of a top 10 finish went up in smoke as the Indian long distance runner finished the energy sapping 10,000m race at the 26th place in the Beijing Olympics on Sunday night.

Surendra, who has been eyeing a top 10 finish, was not at his best and his timing of 28:13.97 was good enough just for the 26th place among the 35 runners who finished the race.

This was a disappointing show by the 30-year-old runner who was more than 11 seconds off his personal best timing of 28:02.89 - also the national record -- which he had clocked in Spain last month to qualify for the Beijing Games.

Meanwhile, world record holder Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia defended his title, producing a devastating burst of speed on the last lap to see off any pretenders.

Bekele finished in a new Olympic record of 27min 01.17sec, with compatriot Sileshi Sihine claiming silver -- as he did at the Athens Games in 2004 -- in 27:02.77. 

Kenyan Micah Kogo ensured there was no Ethiopian clean-sweep, taking bronze in 27:04.11.

Bekele's team-mate Haile Gebreselassie, Olympic 10,000m champion in 1996 and 2000, came in sixth.

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