Friday, May 27, 2011

Bekele's on the Comeback Trail

fter a year and a half of uncertainty, three-time Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele has returned to the mountain trails outside Addis Ababa healthy and with the intention of restoring himself as the world's premier distance runner.

The 28-year-old Ethiopian star seemingly disappeared following the Great Edinburgh 9K Cross Country Race in January 2010. At that race, he finished fourth on the snow covered grounds of Balmoral Castle and went home to lick his wounds. What was initially believed to be a minor calf muscle strain turned into a seven-month nightmare during which he couldn't run a step. He avoided surgery but had to endure plenty of rehab, he said during a phone interview from his home in Addis Ababa earlier this week.

"The calf muscle was injured. The muscles were strained badly and it was very difficult to try an operation," reveals Bekele, the world record-holder at 5,000m (12:37.35) and 10,000m (26:17.53). "I didn't do this. But the recovery was long and then the treatment also. I tried to run on it, and everything is good now.”