Abe Gashahun and Foiteyn Tesfaye, both relatively new and unknown young athletes, were the surprise winners of the 16th edition of the Great Ethiopian Run (GER) 10km international road race on Sunday (Nov. 20).
Abe Gashahun won in a tight sprint finish ahead of Kenyan athlete Jorum Lumbasi, who became the first Kenyan male to place in the top three since Nathan Naibei finished 2nd here in 2005. Four athletes had entered the final home straight locked together and Abe Gashahun only clinched victory in the final few meters of the race.
Abe Gashahun who is coached by Haji Ajilo comes from Debre Birhan, 120km northeast of Addis Ababa, and had traveled to the capital yesterday for this race.
“I have competed abroad only twice until now, both times in France. I hope that my win today will give me more opportunities to compete in international races abroad, “he said after the race.
The women’s winner Foiteyn Tesfaye who was also appearing in the race for the first time surprised better known names in the race. Foiteyn Tesfaye runs for the Messebo Sport Club based in the northern province of Tigray and is still relatively new to the racing scene in Addis Ababa.
“This is my biggest race victory by a long way. It is in fact my first race over 10km, and I am so happy to win here,” she said after her victory.
Her winning time of 33:09 was one of the fastest winning times in the race’s 16-year history.
Following the two elite races, around 40,000 participants took part in the mass race in two wave starts, giving the organizers of Great Ethiopian Run hope for increasing the capacity of the race in future years.
Top 3 – men
1. Abe Gashahun 28:53
2. Jorum Lumbasi (Kenya) 28:54
3. Adugna Tekele 28:55
Top 3 – women
1. Foiteyn Tesfaye 33:09
2. Muluye Dakamaw 33:17
3. Tadelech Bekele 33:25