Aug 13, 2006 [Noel Guiden] Huge disappointment. Just as Alistair Cragg makes what could well have been the winning move in this afternoon`s European 5,000m final he almost pulls up in agony , gathers himself and bravely trys again only to pull off the track with 3 laps to go. An achilles tendon problem appears to be the cause.
It all looked so different as the athletes lined up for the start with Cragg looking relaxed as he was introduced to the crowd. An opening lap of 64 seconds was followed by the same for lap 2, 800m in 2:08 with Cragg sitting at the back of the field. On the third lap Mo Farah of Britian moved to the front , a move covered by Cragg who now ran at the front end of things. As the pace slowed to 72, 74 second laps Cragg moved wide and with three and a half laps to go Cragg accelerated injecting real pace, hitting the front and opening a gap. Was this the winning move ?
200m later Alistair has pulled off and lies on the infield in agony. Tragedy.
For the record the 2006 European 5,000m Champion is Jesus Espana of Spain 13:44 ( the slowest winning time since 1969 ).
Gold may well have been probable , a medal looked certain. Get well soon Alistair.