El Guerrouj beaten in first attempt at 5000m

OSTRAVA (Czech Republic): Morocco's triple 1500m world champion Hicham El Guerrouj had to settle for second place in his first ever attempt at the 5000m at the IAAF Super Grand Prix meet here on Thursday. 

El Guerrouj, who is aiming at a 1500m-5000m double at the world championships in Paris in August, led into the home straight where he was passed by Kenyan Stephen Cherono, the Commonwealth Games steeplechase champion. 

Cherono clocked 12:48.81, the quickest time of the season and the seventh fastest of all time, with El Guerrouj crossing the line 1.43 behind. 

“I didn't expect to beat El Guerrouj,” said the 20-year-old Cherono.  

“I ran a great time today at 5000m and I also run the steeplechase but I prefer the 1500m.” 

El Guerrouj, who last ran a 5000m as a junior in 1992, admitted that he still has some work to do before he is a recognised threat in the event. 

“I saw tonight I am not a 5000m runner yet, but I have a good feeling from my first 5000m. I have to work on my rhythm and I will continue running the distance.” 

Another Kenyan, Cornelius Chirchir, won the 1500m in 3:31.17. 

Britain's Mark Lewis Francis clinched victory in the men's 100m in a time of 10.07, a meet record, to edge out Commonwealth champion Kim Collins, of St Kitts and Nevis, with Dwain Chambers, also of Britain, in third place, in 10.16. 

The third British runner in the race, Jason Gardener could only manage seventh in 10.27. 

The women's sprint was dominated by the Bahamas' double Commonwealth gold medallist Debbie Ferguson who led from the start to finish in 11.20. 

Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic showed why he is world champion in the speciality when lifting the 400m hurdles in 48.10. – AFP 

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