Athletics

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Hagos Gebrhiwet embarrassingly loses 5,000m race after celebrating one lap too soon

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Hagos Gebrhiwet is a highly accomplished long-distance runner.

The Ethiopian is a former junior world-record holder in the 5,000 metres and a bronze medallist at the 2016 Olympics.

Three years before making the podium in Rio de Janeiro, Gebrhiwet also conquered the World Cross Country Championships.

One look at his honours list and he clearly knows his way around the track.

But, professional athletes aren’t immune from making even the most basic of mistakes.

Gebrhiwet upheld that notion at the 2019 IAAF Diamond League in Lausanne on Friday night.

The 25-year-old - who also competes over 3,000m - was leading the 5,000m event with a lap to go - or so he thought.

Having dug deep in an effort to create an unassailable gap between himself and the chasing pack, Gebrhiwet crossed the line with his arms raised in the air and began waving to the fans.

Unfortunately, though, his celebrations were cut short by the sound of the golden bell ringing to signify the start of the final lap.

Gebrhiwet realised his catastrophic error, but it proved too late; his rivals had already caught up to him as he rejoined the race.

Indoor mile world record holder Yomif Kejelcha was best placed to capitalise on the situation and made no mistake.

Kejelcha stormed to victory in 13:00.56 - nine seconds ahead of Gebrhiwet who fell away to finish tenth.

Check out the moment Gebrhiwet thought he’d won…

The video has been a source of amusement on social media, with some users wondering how a top-level athlete could make such a blunder.

Did Gebrhiwet’s really think he’d smashed the 5,000m world record by 30 seconds?

It’s difficult to know exactly what was going on in his head.

Regardless of that, his mishap does warrant a degree of sympathy.

There can’t be many crueller ways to accidentally relinquish victory away after all the training and mental preparation that goes into such an occasion.

Don’t be surprised if Gebrhiwet is counting every lap he runs for the rest of his career.

Topics:
Commonwealth Games
Diamond League
Athletics

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