The diminutive Ethiopian is still the world-record holder at this distance with a staggering 13:37.35, he has more sub 13 minute clockings for the 5000m than any other athlete in the history of the sport and is equally relaxed with any race pace (extremely fast or slow). Kenenisa Bekele is a previous winner in Oslo and a huge favourite of the Bislett fans.
Bekele has overcome injury problems of recent seasons and late last year in the Samsung Diamond League meeting in Brussels, he achieved a brilliant victory with the fastest 10,000m of the year showing that he is still a formidable force to be reckoned with!
Last month his winning form continued on the roads with a decisive victory over 10K in Dublin, Ireland.
The 5000m field being assembled at Bislett looks to be one of the strongest ever and contains many athletes with personal bests under 13 minutes. Previous Oslo winner Imane Merga (12:53.58) will lead a group of highly credentialed competitors that will look to challenge the superiority of Bekele over the distance. His countrymen Sileshi Sihine (12:47.04) and Dejen Gebremeskel (12:53.56), Kenyans Joseph Ebuya (12:51.00/a World Cross Country Champion), Lucas Rotich (12:55.06), James Kwalia (12.54:58) and the Commonwealth Champion from Uganda Moses Kipsiro (12:50.72).
There will also be great local interest for the fans with the performance of the young Norwegians Sondre Moen and Sindre Burass. Both have shown great improvement recently and are closing in on Olympic “A” qualification. They will receive enormous support from the knowledgeable Bislett crowd who love nothing more than to see their developing athletes competing against the very best in the world.