Frehiwot Goshu wins Elgoibar Cross Country

Elgoibar, Spain (January 25, 2010) - Ferhiwot Goshu of Ethiopia joined the illustrious list of past winners in Elgoibar getting the better of Kenya’s Ann Karindi Mwangi.

The women’s 6.624km contest kicked off quite conservatively with the Portuguese duo of Dulce Félix and Sara Moreira, 6th and 10th respectively at the Europeans XC championships in Dublin, making most of the early pacing duties.

However, the 2009 European indoor 3000m silver medallist Moreira soon lost ground and before the halfway point the leading group was formed by Félix, the Kenyan pair of Ann Karindi Mwangi and Viola Kibiwot plus the diminutive Ethiopian Ferhiwot Goshu, the reigning World Junior 3000m bronze medallist.

Mwangi was tipped as the main favourite, largely thanks to her Amorebieta win and Seville third place earlier this month but the Amman Worlds’ seventh place finisher just could not respond to Goshu’s change of speed over the closing 2.1km lap. The Ethiopian, a creditable fourth at last year’s World Junior XC championships gave no option to Mwangi and crossed the finish line four seconds ahead of the Kenyan (22:37/22:41) while Félix managed to keep Kibiwot at bay to snatch third place.

Goshu, who will turn 20 next 28 June, declared: “I found the race really tough because of the rain. Today’s win is a strong confidence booster thinking of the Ethiopian trials where I’m aiming to be part of my country’s senior team for the XC Worlds. I have already competed in Spain several times, I like the country a lot and I even know some Spanish basic expressions.”

Asked who is her favourite Ethiopian female athlete, a cautious Goshu replied: “Dibaba, Defar, Melkamu…all of them are great athletes, I wouldn’t pick one in particular.” Goshu said that she’l focus on the 3000 and 5000m distances on the track next summer.