The men's 10,000 meter race was one to behold. Their strategy was different from the women's race, which went out fast from beginning to end. The men were biding their time waiting for someone to make the first move. They remained in a pack, however, for 24 of the 25 laps.
There was a hub of African runners at the front of the pack, with the exception of Galen Rupp who stood out clearly in the crowd. Even Great Britain's Mohamed Farah blended right in. Farah is the reigning world champion in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meter distances, but this is his first finals Olympic appearance, as he did not make the 5,000 meter finals in the Beijing Games. Rupp was 13th in the 2008 Olympics in this event, but now owns the American record for it.Olympics 2012 Giveaway: Enter to Win a Limited Edition Olympics Themed iPhone Case >>>
In the final lap of the race, four runners took off: Farah, brothers Tariku and Kenenisa Bekele and Galen Rupp. Rupp had remained in fourth place for most of the race, in perfect range for whenever the kick came into play. The four made their way around around the track for their final loop, lapping several runners, and all keeping within a few inches apart. It quickly became a four-man race with only three medals at stake.
Rounding the last bend, Rupp made his move. The British crowd was on their feet cheering for one of their own as well as a welcomed American runner. Rupp did the impossible: his wide-open stride took him to third place. And then he went even faster. All of a sudden, he was in second place and gaining on Farah. If the race had been a few meters longer, he might have won the whole thing. As it were, he checked to his left and right before sailing through the finish line in second place.
Farah's face was lit up, and he ran over to his training partner, Rupp, to give him a joyous hug. Farah dropped to his knees and kissed the ground as a commemoration of the moment. Meanwhile, Rupp was bent over and spitting up on the ground. He had left it all out on the track -- perhaps a bit too much. The battle for fourth place was a sad one since the outcome left one Bekele brother with a medal and one without. Tariku, the younger of the two, walked away with bronze, crossing the line a mere one second before his brother.
Arguably, the 5,000 is Rupp's better event. Can he shoot for gold?
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