Report29 Apr 2023

Sawe storms a 26:49 10km, Eisa sets world U20 5km best in Herzogenaurach


Medina Eisa pips Senbere Teferi in the 5km in Herzogenaurach (© Getty Images)

Sabastian Sawe moved to fifth on the men’s world 10km all-time list, while Medina Eisa raced to a women’s world U20 5km best at the Adizero Road to Records event in Herzogenaurach, Germany, on Saturday (29).

Competing on a loop course in blustery conditions, Kenya’s Sawe turned the tables on last year’s 10km winner Kibiwott Kandie to triumph in 26:49 – three seconds ahead of his compatriot.

With that time, Sawe improved his PB by five seconds to better the 26:54 he ran when finishing runner-up to Kandie in Herzogenaurach last year. Forming part of a Kenyan top five, Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli was third in 26:54, world record-holder Rhonex Kipruto was fourth in 27:09 and Levy Kibet was fifth in 27:14.

Kandie and Sawe were to the fore as the first kilometre was covered in 2:41 and then Kandie took control, leaving the pacemakers behind, as 3km was hit in 8:04. The halfway point was reached in 13:27 as Kandie led from Kipruto and they started to string out the field, a 2:37 sixth kilometre further breaking up the pack.

But then the pace dipped slightly and Sawe took advantage, gaining a gap on his rivals that he wouldn’t relinquish. Always in control, he continued to move ahead and claimed a clear win – a second consecutive victory after his half marathon triumph in Berlin at the start of this month.

Sabastian Sawe wins the men's 10km in Herzogenaurach

Sabastian Sawe wins the men's 10km in Herzogenaurach (© Getty Images)

Kenya’s Irine Jepchumba Kimais also maintained a win streak, taking top spot in the women’s 10km in a PB of 30:23 as she held off the challenge from Ethiopia’s Fotyen Tesfay and Kenya’s Agnes Jebet Ngetich.

Kimais, who claimed half marathon victories in Barcelona in February and Prague earlier this month, improved her previous 10km best of 31:21 that secured her ninth place at this event last year, winning by three seconds ahead of Tesfay. Ngetich, who claimed bronze at the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst in February, finished third in 30:27 as the top three all set PBs.

Behind them, Kenya’s Janeth Chepngetich finished fourth in 30:28 and Ethiopia’s 17-year-old Senayet Getachew set a world U20 best of 30:34 to finish fifth.

Eisa pips Teferi 

Ethiopia’s Eisa narrowly denied her compatriot Senbere Teferi a third consecutive women’s 5km victory in Herzogenaurach as she sprinted to a world U20 best of 14:46 to beat her rival in a photo finish.

Further demonstrating her versatility, 18-year-old Eisa adds this latest victory on the roads to a CV that already includes a world U20 5000m win on the track in Cali last year and a second place finish in the U20 race at the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst in February.

Teferi, who set the women-only world record of 14:29 at this event in 2021, made a move in the second half of the race, but her compatriots Eisa and Gebrzihair were ready to respond. The defending champion sprinted towards the finish line and raised her arms in anticipation, but Eisa had chased her down and made it to the tape first, breaking it in 14:46.

Gebrzihair finished two seconds behind them, while Lemlem Nibret was fourth in 14:57 and Yalemget Yaregal fifth in 15:00 in an Ethiopian top five.

There was also a close finish in the men’s 5km as Ethiopia’s long-time leader Yomif Kejelcha was surprised by Bahrain’s Birhanu Balew in the final strides and had to settle for second place this time, after his win in Herzogenaurach last year.

Two-time world indoor 3000m champion Kejelcha was running solo by 3km – reached in 7:45 – but Balew never lost sight and he stormed past Kejelcha at the finish to win in 13:06.

Kejelcha clocked the same time in second, while Burundi’s Rodrigue Kwizera was third in a national record of 13:11 on his 5km race debut.

The women’s half marathon was won by Ethiopia’s Bertukan Welde Sura, making her debut at the distance. The 18-year-old, who finished fourth in the 3000m at the World U20 Championships in Cali last year, timed her kick to perfection and won a sprint finish against her more experienced compatriots Nigsti Haftu and Dera Dida.

Haftu finished second, clocking the same time as the winner, while Dida was third in a PB of 1:07:47, a couple of months after her Dubai Marathon win in 2:21:11.

Another rising talent won the men’s half marathon, 20-year-old Tadese Takele surging away from his rivals over the final kilometre to win in 1:00:04.

Waving to the crowds and celebrating on his way to the finish line, Takele went from fifth in this event last year – when he set his PB of 59:41 – to first, winning by three seconds ahead of Kenya’s Josphat Chumo and Roncer Kipkorir.

Leading results 


1 Medina Eisa (ETH) 14:46
2 Senbere Teferi (ETH) 14:46
3 Girmawit Gebrzihair (ETH) 14:48
4 Lemlem Nibret (ETH) 14:57
5 Yalemget Yaregal (ETH) 15:00

1 Irine Jepchumba Kimais (KEN) 30:23
2 Fotyen Tesfay (ETH) 30:26
3 Agnes Jebet Ngetich (KEN) 30:27
4 Janeth Chepngetich (KEN) 30:28
5 Senayet Getachew (ETH) 30:34 

Half marathon
1 Bertukan Welde (ETH) 1:07:44
2 Nigsti Haftu (ETH) 1:07:44
3 Dera Dida (ETH) 1:07:47
4 Anchinalu Dessie (ETH) 1:07:59
5 Ayinadis Teshome (ETH) 1:08:10 


1 Birhanu Balew (BRN) 13:06
2 Yomif Kejelcha (ETH) 13:06
3 Rodrigue Kwizera (BDI) 13:11
4 Addisu Yihune (ETH) 13:22
5 Ryan Mphahlele (RSA) 13:24 

1 Sabastian Sawe (KEN) 26:49
2 Kibiwott Kandie (KEN) 26:53
3 Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli (KEN) 26:54
4 Rhonex Kipruto (KEN) 27:09
5 Levy Kibet (KEN) 27:14 

Half marathon
1 Tadese Takele (ETH) 1:00:04
2 Josphat Chumo (KEN) 1:00:08
3 Roncer Kipkorir (KEN) 1:00:08
4 Mathew Kimeli (KEN) 1:00:16
5 Kennedy Kimutai (KEN) 1:00:24


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