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Report17 Mar 2024


Gebreselama and Fisher win as records fall in San Juan Capistrano

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Ethiopia's Tsigie Gebreselama (© Getty Images)

Tsigie Gebreselama set a US all-comers' record to win the women’s 10,000m, while Grant Fisher topped a deep men’s race to triumph at The TEN, a World Athletics Continental Tour Silver event, in San Juan Capistrano, California, on Saturday (16).

Hitting the Olympic standards for Paris – 27:00.00 for men and 30:40.00 for women – was the aim for many athletes in San Juan Capistrano. A total of eight athletes managed it in the men’s race and four achieved it in the women’s.

Leading the way in that women’s race was Ethiopia’s world cross country silver medallist Gebreselama, who improved her PB to 29:48.34 to move to ninth on the world all-time list.

The 23-year-old won the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in a PB of 1:05:14 three weeks ago and returned to the track to dip under 30 minutes for 10,000m for the first time, also becoming the first woman to break that time barrier on US soil.

Gebreselama, the fourth-place finisher in the World Road Running Championships half marathon in October, had been the only athlete to go with USA’s Alicia Monson from the start but when Monson struggled to maintain the pace, Gebreselama took over at the front and Monson later dropped out.

Chasing the Olympic standard in a group further back, USA’s Weini Kelati led the way and clocked a PB of 30:33.82 to finish second. She was followed by Lauren Ryan, who ran 30:35.66 to improve Benita Willis’s 20-year-old Australian record, and Britain’s Megan Keith, who ran 30:36.84 on her 10,000m debut.

Rachel Smith finished fifth in 31:04.02 and Karissa Schweizer sixth in 31:04.80.

In the men’s race, North American record-holder Fisher led one of the deepest 10,000m races in history as he sprinted into the lead in the closing stages to win in 26:52.04. 

His 21-year-old US compatriot Nico Young followed him over the finish line in a US collegiate record of 26:52.72 and the next six were also under the Olympic entry standard.

Andreas Almgren ran a Swedish record of 26:52.87 to finish third, while Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed was fourth in 26:53.01, Eritrea’s Habtom Samuel was fifth in a PB of 26:53.84, Adriaan Wildschutt was sixth in a South African record of 26:55.54, USA’s Woody Kincaid was seventh in a PB of 26:57.57 and Kenya’s Edwin Kurgat was eighth in a PB of 26:57.66.

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