Following his victories in 2014 and 2015, world 5000m champion Muktar Edris won the Giro al Sas International 10km Road Race in Trento for the third time in his career, edging fellow Ethiopian Telahun Haile by just one second in 28:54.
Yasin Haji completed the Ethiopian sweep by finishing third ahead of European under-23 5000m champion Yemaneberhan Crippa of Italy.
The race set off at a conservative pace for the first four laps, as Edris took the early lead closely followed by Haji, Haile, 2012 Olympic 5000m bronze medallist Thomas Longosiwa, Crippa and Nathan Ayeko from Uganda. Edris pulled away at halfway to win the intermediate sprint bonus with five laps to go.
Haile then forced the pace, breaking away from Edris and built up a solid lead on the sixth lap. Edris clawed his way back and caught up with Haile with three laps to go, but Haji and Crippa could not keep pace with Edris and Haile.
The race between the two Ethiopians came down to a final sprint. Haile pushed the pace at the front at the bell but Edris was in control and broke away on the final straight to cross the finish-line in 28:54, one second ahead of Haile to crown a successful season in which he won the 5000m world title ahead of Mo Farah in London.
“The training at altitude has paid off,” said Edris. “My form is improving day after day. The world title has changed my life. It’s important to keep my feet on the ground and continue working hard. I made my family and my country proud.
“Winning in Trento for the third time in my career means a lot,” he added. “Everyone expects me to win every time I compete here. It’s always nice to run in Trento in front of such great fans.”
Haji pulled away to take third place in 29:13, seven seconds ahead of Crippa, who was contesting his first race since returning from a three-week training camp in Ethiopia.
“I came directly from Ethiopia where I trained for three weeks,” said the two-time European under-20 cross-country champion. “Training with Muktar Edris and Yasin Haji was a big learning experience. The crowd helped me to achieve my best result in Trento.”
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF
1 Muktar Edris (ETH) 28:54
2 Telahun Haile (ETH) 28:55
3 Yasin Haji (ETH) 29:13
4 Yemaneberhan Crippa (ITA) 29:20
5 Nathan Ayeko (UGA) 29:41
6 Thomas Longosiwa (KEN) 29:42
7 Lorenzo Dini (ITA) 29:44
8 Xavier Chevrier (ITA) 30:06
9 Marouan Razine (ITA) 30:17
10 Osama Zoghlami (ITA) 30:21