Historic Double Victory for Ethiopia at the Boclassic New Year’s Eve Race

Tamirat Tola (photo: Roberto Passerini)
Tamirat Tola (photo: Roberto Passerini)

Ethiopia claimed a double victory for the first time at the 41st edition of the Boclassic New Year’s Eve Race in Bolzano with Tamirat Tola and Netsanet Gudeta taking the honours on a cold afternoon in northern Italy on Thursday.

Tola, whose 2015 year also included personal bests of 27:22.64 in the 10,000m, 1:00:08 for the half marathon and sixth place at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships Guiyang 2015, crossed the finish line in the Wather Square after 10km of running in 28:28, beating last year’s Boclassic winner and his compatriot Muktar Edris by the impressive margin of 16 seconds.

Three-time Boclassic champion Imane Merga completed the all-Ethiopian men’s podium in 28:56, holding off Kenya’s 3000m steeplechase Diamond Race winner Jairus Birech, who was fourth in 28:58. Zane Robertson, from New Zealand, who finished third last year, had to settle for fifth this time in 28:59.

Netsanet Gudeta (photo: Roberto Passerini)
Netsanet Gudeta (photo: Roberto Passerini)

Women’s Race

Gudeta, the bronze medallist in Guiyang last March, won in 15:57, coming home five seconds ahead of Kenya’s 2014 Boclassic winner Janet Kisa, with another Kenyan, Viola Kibiwot, who was fourth in the 5000m at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing last summer, finishing third with in 16:08.

Gudeta and Kisa were out on their own from early in the race, with the Ethiopian leading as they went through halfway in 8:08.

However, there was drama at the end of the third lap as both runners started to sprint for the line, unaware they had one lap to go.

After being ushered on for one further lap, Gudeta clearly had more in reserve than her Kenyan rival over the final kilometre.

Read more at: IAAF.org