Addis Ababa – World U18 and U20 champion Selemon Barega and Zeyneba Yimer were victorious at the 2017 TOTAL Great Ethiopian Run 10km road race held here today.
It has been a stellar 2017 for Barega who stormed to an impressive 3000m title at the World U18 Championships in Nairobi in July and followed it up with an impressive fifth place finish over 5000m at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in London a month later.
“Because it is the first time for me to run in Great [Ethiopian] Run, it was not easy,” Barega said. “I had a slight injury before the race and again there were some big names to battle with. I really did not expect [to win] it.”
Defending champion Foten Tesfaye was the favourite in women’s race, but victory in this contest went to Zeyneba Yimer, the world U20 cross country bronze medallist.
“I cannot say it was an easy one, “ said a jubilant Yimer. “I was well prepared for this, but not confident [enough] to win it. But I did it.”
A record 44,000 participants started the race in the Ethiopian capital that saw three-time world half marathon champion Lornah Kiplagat, reigning Olympic 5000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot, and two-time Olympic 5000m champion Meseret Defar as guests of honour.