San Giorgio su Legnano– It was an all Ethiopian affair at Campaccio men’s Cross Country race when Olympic 5000m bronze medallist Hagos Gebrhiwet got the better out his young and upcoming compatriot Selemon Barega as they took the top two positions here today.
Meanwhile in the women’s race, three-time European cross-country champion Yasemin Can from Turkey dominated the women’s 6km race in 19:21, beating Ethiopia’s Silenat Yismaw by 16 seconds.
Barega’s shoelace came undone at the start of the race, costing him about 40 metres on his main opponents. The pace was slow on the first lap and Barega managed to catch up with a big group formed by Gebrhiwet, Uganda’s Albert Chemutai, Britain’s Ross Millington and Italy’s Yohanes Chiappinelli, Yemaneberhan Crippa, Daniele Meucci and Pietro Riva.
Gebrhiwet broke away from Barega and Albert Chemutai of Uganda on the final lap with one kilometre to go. By the time Gebrhiwet reached the finish line, which he crossed in 29:18, his lead had grown to four seconds.
Barega, who became the fourth fastest 5000m runner in history when he clocked 12:43.02 in Brussels last year, finished second in 29:22 edging Chemutai by one second. Crippa finished fourth in 29:56, the best result of his career in San Giorgio su Legnano. Meucci completed the top five in 30:11.
After earning world 5000m bronze in 2013, world silver in 2015 and Olympic bronze in 2016, Gebrhiwet is bidding to win his fourth global medal at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019.
“I was aware that Barega had a problem at the start,” said Gebrhiwet. “I decided to increase the pace on the final lap because I knew he would be very strong in a sprint. I built a good margin, which proved to be enough to win the race. I will not run in other cross country races, but I will focus on some indoor competitions.”
“The problem with my shoes was my mistake. It had never happened in my career,” said Barega. “Luckily I managed to close the gap. It was a good race. I will now run in Elgoibar before a period of training in Ethiopia to prepare for the Ethiopian Cross Country Trials for the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus.”
1 Hagos Gebrehiwet (Ethiopia) 29:18
2 Selemon Barega (Ethiopia) 29:22
3 Albert Chemutai (Uganda) 29:23
4 Yemaneberhan Crippa (Italy) 29:56
5 Daniele Meucci (Italy) 30:11
6 Yohanes Chiappinelli (Italy) 30:14
1 Yasemin Can (Turkey) 19:21
2 Silenat Ysmaw (Ethiopia) 19:37
3 Caroline Chepkemoi (KEN) 19:46
4 Lonah Chemtai Salpeter (ISR) 19:58
5 Sara Dossena (ITA) 20:24
6 Nadia Battocletti (ITA) 20:51
Read more at: IAAF.org