Taking the lead just past the three-kilometre mark, Ethiopia’s Netsanet Gudeta ran away from a strong women’s field at the Ottawa 10k, winning the IAAF Gold Label road race in 31:35 on Saturday (27).
Among the vanquished was heavily favoured Kenyan Paskalia Chepkorir who struggled home second in 32:08 with Monica Ngige, also of Kenya, taking third place in 32:46.
“I am extremely happy for winning the race,” said Gudeta. “I was confident from the beginning and I had the feeling that I was going to be ahead of the men.”
The men’s race had suffered with the last-minute withdrawals of 2012 winner Geoffrey Mutai due to injury and defending champion Mohammed Ziana because of passport problems. Last year’s runner-up, Yitayal Atnafu of Ethiopia, also cancelled with an injury.
But once the gun was fired, the remainder of the elite entrants got down to business and the absence of the pre-race favourites was largely forgotten.
It was Nicholas Bor, the 2015 Ottawa champion, who charged out to an early lead in the men’s race. For the past two years he has battled injuries and treated Ottawa as a comeback race. Within three kilometres, the pack had whittled down to three. The 24-year-old Gebresilase, who has a personal best of 28:12, followed closely alongside USA’s Marty Hehir of the Northern Arizona Elite Club. The trio passed half way in 14:29, but when the Ethiopian surged at 8 kilometres it was a decisive move.
“I was looking straight ahead to Netsanet; in the last kilometres she was very strong,” Gebresilase said. “But I am very happy that Ethiopians won both the competitions today. This race is very good, very well organised.”
Read more at: IAAF