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Ethiopia’s Lemecha Girma claims silver

Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali pulled off an incredible late surge to defeat Ethiopia’s Lemecha Girma in the men’s 3000m at the Budapest World Athletics Championships.

For much of the tactically run race, Lemecha had set the pace at the front. As the bell rang for the final lap, Lemecha still held a narrow lead over the chasing pack.

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But El Bakkali launched a ferocious kick over the final 200 meters to reel in Lemecha. In an incredibly close finish, El Bakkali crossed the line in 8:03.53 to Girma’s 8:05.44 – just 1.91 seconds separating the two competitors.

It was a thrilling climax to the longest track event. El Bakkali had stalked Lemecha for the majority of the race, patiently waiting for his moment to pounce. With one lap to go, it seemed Lemecha had done enough to claim gold.

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