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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 08:00, November 21, 2005
Ethiopian runners dominant at Dutch road race
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Powerful Ethiopian runners were dominant at the Seven Hills Race on Sunday, scooping two top titles at this world-prestigious 15km road race.

Ethiopian veteran Haile Gebrselassie was the first to hit the finish line by clocking 41:57 at this race, which attracted as many as over 26,000 runners from all over the world.

A month ago in Amsterdam, the 32-year-old set a 2:06:20 Ethiopian marathon record at the Amsterdam marathon, the world's fastest of this year.

Eritrea runner Zersenay Tadesse took the second place with 42: 17 while Bernard Kipyego of Kenya, who finished second in the Junior race at the World Cross Country Championships, took the third place.

"This is a fantastic race," Gebrselassie said at the press conference after the race, adding he was satisfied with his final score.

The competition started from the very beginning between Gebrselassie and Tadesse, a bronze medallist in the 10,000 meters at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.

The two athletes reached the 5th km at the same time by clocking 14:17 and Tadesse was merely one second slower at the 10th km.

However, experienced Gebrselassie sped up his pace at the rest track, and he hit the finish line half a minute less than Tadesse, who seemed to be out of form after he ran an all-time unsurpassed half marathon clocking of 59:05 in September.

"I felt a little bit difficult at the last 5 kilometers," Tadesse said.

Although Gebrselassie had merely rested for a month, too short for a marathon runner to recover, the veteran said he was strong enough to face the challenge.

"It's only 15 kilometers," Gebrselassie joked.

As for the women's race, Ethiopian veteran runner Berhane Adere was upbeat again at the Seven Hills Race.

Adere, who won the women's 10,000m at the World Championships in Paris in 2003, crossed the finish line by clocking 47:48 at this prestigious 15km road race.

Kenyan runner Rose Cheruiyot, who won the women's race here with 47:02, the second fastest women's performance ever, took the second place while Adere's teammate Mestewat Tuffa took the third place.

The situation in the women's race might have been a complete different picture if Marathon World record holder and World Champion Paula Radcliffe had not withdrawn from this race.

The British athlete, who had originally been set as a top attraction for the Seven Hills Race, announced earlier this month that she decided to pull out because of bronchitis.

However, Adere was not affected by the absence of Radcliffe and she turned out to be all the more ambitious.

"I'll break the record next time," she told the press conference after the race.

The world record of 46:57 was set by South African Elena Meyer in Cape Town in 1991.

Source: Xinhua


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