Report17 Mar 2024

Kejelcha goes No.3 all time with 26:37 10km in Laredo


Yomif Kejelcha wins the 10km in Laredo (© Organisers)

World indoor mile record-holder Yomif Kejelcha stormed to a 26:37 10km win in the northern Spanish town of Laredo on Saturday (16). 

With that performance at the World Athletics Label event, the Ethiopian 26-year-old achieved the third-fastest men's 10km of all time. Only Rhonex Kipruto with his world record of 26:24 set in Valencia four years ago and Berihu Aregawi with his 26:33 run in Laredo last year have gone faster.

Racing under ideal weather conditions on a 15ºC windless afternoon, Kejelcha was perfectly paced by his fellow Ethiopian Addisu Yihune, himself the reigning world U20 5000m champion. They went through the opening kilometres at a steady 2:38 pace, the tempo needed to attack the world best.

Meanwhile, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei travelled a few metres behind in the company of his own pacemaker, his compatriot Naman Kipyeko, but the world 5000m and 10,000m record-holder began to lose ground some six minutes into the race. By the third kilometre, Kejelcha became a virtual victor as he had built a seven-second gap on the Ugandan, with 7:54 and 8:01 their respective times at that point.

Despite being well on schedule to challenge the world record, Kejelcha overtook Yihune before reaching the fourth kilometre and from then on it was a solo run by the two-time world indoor 3000m champion, who went through halfway in a promising 13:10. Cheptegei ran nine seconds in arrears in the company of Yihune. 

Over the second half, Kejelcha maintained a frantic rhythm in the 2:38/2:40 per kilometre range to increase his advantage on Cheptegei.

Over the closing two kilometres, Kejelcha could not maintain the pace on his own and despite his huge effort he romped home 13 seconds shy of the coveted mark and four seconds off the Ethiopian record. As for Cheptegei, the 27-year-old finished in 26:53, his third-quickest time and 15 seconds slower than the then world record of 26:38 he set in Valencia in December 2019. 

Surprisingly, the 20-year-old pacemaker Yihune completed the race in a massive lifetime best of 27:28.

“I came to Laredo to break the world record but it was not possible,” said Kejelcha. “I felt some discomfort in my hip around the eighth kilometre and could not maintain my speed.”

As for Cheptegei, the Olympic 5000m champion confirmed his main goal was to get the Olympic 10,000m standard of 27:00 and he expressed his happiness at having reached that target two weeks before he competes at the World Cross Country Championships in Belgrade.

Held alongside the men’s race, the women’s event featured Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen as the favourite. The European 5000m champion dropped out during her last race, the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, three weeks ago and was trying to bounce back in Laredo with the main target of getting the qualifying time for the 10,000m at the Paris Olympics (30:40). 

Running in a group alongside male athletes, the 27-year-old started at a brisk pace and covered the opening kilometres at a tempo of around 3:00 per kilometre to go through halfway in 15:07, well on schedule for her target. Kenya’s Purity Gitonga travelled in second, five seconds back, and Spanish 3000m steeplechase record-holder Irene Sanchez-Escribano was third in 15:32.

Over the second half of the race all the main contenders slowed down their speed as Klosterhalfen began to falter dramatically inside the closing kilometre. That saw her lose any chance of achieving the entry standard for Paris but she still achieved a PB of 31:07.

Gitonga finished runner-up in 31:24 and Sanchez-Escribano ran a massive lifetime best of 31:35 for third.

Emeterio Valiente for World Athletics

Leading results

1 Konstanze Klosterhalfen (GER) 31:07
2 Purity Gitonga (KEN) 31:24
3 Irene Sanchez-Escribano (ESP) 31:35
4 Federica del Buono (ITA) 31:41
5 Sheila Jeruto (KEN) 31:47

1 Yomif Kejelcha (ETH) 26:37
2 Joshua Cheptegei (UGA) 26:53
3 Addisu Yihune (ETH) 27:28
4 Hillary Chepkwony (KEN) 27:43
5 Eduardo Menacho (ESP) 28:24


Gebrhiwet and Anley win in Leicester

The wet conditions didn’t dampen spirits in the elite races at the Podium Festival in Leicester, UK, on Saturday (16), with Hagos Gebrhiwet and Asmarech Anley claiming an Ethiopian double at the World Athletics Label event.

Olympic and world 5000m medallist Gebrhiwet won the men’s 5km in 13:19 as he sprinted away from Kenya’s Amos Kipkirui Langat and Daniel Kosen in the closing stages. Langat was second in 13:24 and Kosen third in 13:27.

Anley kicked past Kenya’s Caroline Nyaga to claim the women’s win, both athletes recording 14:59.

Ethiopia’s Meseret Yeshaneh was third in 15:14.


Kosgei and Ayele win Lisbon Half Marathon

Kenya's Brigid Kosgei and Ethiopia’s Dinkalem Ayele won the EDP Lisbon Half Marathon, a World Athletics Elite Label road race, on Sunday (17).

Racing in warm and humid conditions, former world marathon record-holder Kosgei clocked 1:05:51 to claim the women’s crown, finishing more than three minutes ahead of Ethiopian Bosena Mulatie, while Ayele held off Kenya’s Dominic Kiptarus to win the men’s race, 1:00:36 to 1:00:40.

In a tune-up before the London Marathon, Kosgei solo ran her way to victory, passing 10km in 31:23 and continuing on to finish with a comfortable margin. Mulatie was second in 1:09:00, with her fellow Ethiopian Tigist Gezahagn completing the podium in 1:09:14. 

"This was a preparation for the London Marathon next month,” said Kosgei, who celebrated her victory with her children at the finish line. “I'm really happy, I appreciate what I have run today.

"I'm feeling very happy, because I come with my kids. They celebrated with me, because I won the race. They were really happy for what I did.”

In the men's race, Ayele formed part of a five-strong pack that reached 10km in 28:35 and stayed together until the 20km mark, at which point Ayele stormed ahead to victory. 

The 23-year-old won by four seconds ahead of Kiptarus and was 20 seconds ahead of Germany’s Amanal Petros.

Organisers for World Athletics


Kipchumba and Grovdal take top spots in New York

Kenya’s Abel Kipchumba and Norway’s Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal won titles at the United Airlines NYC Half, a World Athletics Label road race, on Sunday (17).

Kipchumba won his NYRR racing debut in 1:00:25, with Morocco’s Zouhair Talbi 16 seconds behind in 1:00:41 in his second consecutive podium finish at the event. 

Eritrea’s Yemane Haileselassie was third in 1:01:37, while USA’s Hillary Bor finished fourth in 1:01:47. Ethiopia’s multiple world and Olympic gold medallist Kenenisa Bekele secured seventh place in 1:03:59.

Grovdal became the first woman from Norway to win the United Airlines NYC Half, crossing the line in 1:09:09 and claiming her first title at the event after finishing third the last two years. 

Kenya’s Gladys Chepkurui and Edna Kiplagat rounded out the podium in 1:09:27 and 1:09:46, respectively. Their compatriot Cynthia Jerotich was fourth in 1:11:54.

“I'm so happy to take a win here. I had a dream to do that, so it's fun,” said Grovdal. “I really like to run in New York; it’s my fifth time running here, and I love it. To win here is fantastic.”

Organisers for World Athletics


Rutto runs race record in Rome

Asbel Rutto won the men’s race in a course record of 2:06:24, while Ivyne Lagat completed a Kenyan double by winning the women’s race in 2:24:36 at the Acea Run Rome The Marathon, a World Athletics Elite Label road race, on Sunday (17).

Rutto’s compatriots Brian Kipsang and Sila Kiptoo joined him on the podium after running respective times of 2:07:56 and 2:08:09.

“Winning in such a beautiful city with a new race record is a great emotion,” said Rutto. “I struggled several times on the cobblestones but I was very sure of my condition and my goal.”

Like Rutto, Lagat also ran a PB, clocking 2:24:36 to improve her previous best by some 17 minutes and win the women’s race ahead of her compatriot Lydia Simiyu in 2:25:10 and Ethiopia’s Emebet Niguse in 2:26:41.

Organisers for World Athletics


Gressier sets European 10km record in Lille

Jimmy Gressier of France set a European 10km record of 27:07 to win on home soil in Lille on Sunday (17).

The 26-year-old improved the previous European record jointly held by Julien Wanders and Dominic Lobalu by six seconds.

He won the race after a sprint finish, pipping Kenya’s Jacob Krop, who recorded the same finishing time.

Kenya's Grace Nawowuna won the women's race in 30:27.

Her compatriot Edinah Jebitok won the women's 5km in 14:38, finishing one second ahead of Ethiopia's Likina Amebaw.

In the men's 5km, Bahrain's Birhanu Balew pipped Ethiopia’s Muktar Edris, 13:07 to 13:11.

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