Yalemzerf Yehualaw wins the Great Ethiopian Run (© Jiro Mochizuki / organisers)
World half marathon bronze medallist Yalemzerf Yehualaw opened her 2022 season in spectacular style by claiming victory at the Total Energies Great Ethiopian Run 10km, taking 38 seconds off her own race record with 31:17.
Her winning time is the fastest 10km ever recorded at altitude, with Addis Ababa standing 2350m above sea level. Gemechu Dida won a close men's race in 28:24, just five seconds shy of the long-standing race record.
Yehualaw, who set the previous event record of 31:55 in 2019, came into the race eager to impress after having to withdraw from the Valencia 10km just two weeks ago. Today she ran a smart race, making her break from long-time leader Girmawit Gebregziabiher, the 2018 world U20 5000m bronze medallist, just past the 7.5km mark after cresting the hill near the National Palace.
At the 9km turn at Urael Church, Yehuawlaw accelerated dramatically and pulled clear of her rival, cruising to the finish line to win by 12 seconds from Gebregziabiher, who clocked 31:29. Double world U20 medallist Melknat Wedu, still just 17 years of age, finished third in 31:45.
The men’s race was much closer, with six athletes still in contention in the final 500 metres. In the end it was Dida who took a surprise victory over former Dubai Marathon champion Getaneh Molla with Boki Diriba finishing third as two seconds separated the podium finishers.
The highest-placed non-Ethiopian athlete was Kenya’s Cornelius Kibet Kemboi, who finished sixth in 28:39. A total of 17,600 runners finished the mass race.
Organisers for World Athletics
1 Yalemzerf Yehualaw (ETH) 31:17
2 Girmawit Gebrzihair (ETH) 31:29
3 Melknat Wedu (ETH) 31:45
4 Gete Alemayehu (ETH) 32:06
5 Bosena Mulate (ETH) 32:17
6 Hawi Feyisa (ETH) 32:18
7 Birtukan Wolde (ETH) 32:22
8 Anchinalu Desse (ETH) 32:38
9 Mebrat Gidey (ETH) 32:42
10 Ayenaddis Teshome (ETH) 32:49
1 Gemechu Dida (ETH) 28:24
2 Getaneh Molla (ETH) 28:25
3 Boki Diriba (ETH) 28:26
4 Moges Tuemay (ETH) 28:31
5 Getachew Masresha (ETH) 28:33
6 Cornelius Kibet Kemboi (KEN) 28:39
7 Teresa Ggnakola (ETH) 28:43
8 Solomon Berihun (ETH) 28:55
9 Ashenafi Kiros (ETH) 28:59
10 Antenayehu Dagnachew (ETH) 29:05