Gebrselassie Wins Silvester in 22:22.5! by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder



Haile Gebrselassie, posing in Athens, 2003, photo by adidas communications

Haile Gebrselassie just missed the record by 1.5 seconds!


Gebre and Zadorozhnaya
TRIER (GER, Dec 31): Legendary Haile Gebrselassie won the 20th Silvester Race in Trier, Germany but in rain missed the existing 8 km course record. He clocked after beeing responsible for the pace during the whole race and after first half clearly leading official time 22:22.5 and the course record is 22:21 by Isaac Kariuki in 1997. "Coming into the last lap I was thinking it will be easy to break the course record. So I m surprised I did not break it. I tried my best. Excellent atmosphere, like in stadium, the course was full of people. The only thing they threw the celebration thing (confettis) into my face, that was tough," he said. Second Kenyan Shadrack Lagat (22:47) and third another Kenyan Paul Kipkorir (23:18). Best German fourth Arne Gabius (23:19). Russian olympian Yelena Zadorozhnaya won the women 5 km in 15:48 ahead of Ethiopian Emebet Anteneh (15:50) and Kenyan Caroline Chepkwony (15:53). Best German Sabrina Mockenhaput as sixth (15:58) ahead of Irina Mikitenko (7th).

Utura and Soi
BOLZANO (ITA, Dec 31):Ethiopian Uture Sula won the 5 km in BoClassic in 16:12 ahead of Sonja Roman of Slovenia (16:14) and French marathon record holder Christelle Daunay (16:17). Fresh European CC Champion Hayley Yelling was seventh (16:40). Kenyan Edwin Soi repeated his last year win at 10 km in 28:44 one second ahead of Ethiopian Imane Merga (28:45) and British star Mo Farah (28:48). Next in order Kenyan Silas Kipruto (29:25) and best home runner Andrea Lalli (29:33). Multiple European CC Champion Sergiy Lebid of Ukraine was out of shape in 30:19 as ninth.

Ethiopian wins
PEUERBACH (AUT, Dec 31): Ethiopian wins at Austrian Silvester Race in Peuerbach. 18 years old Asmare Work Bekele (world junior participant) clocked 16:25 at 5.1 km beating Belarus Svetlana Kovgan (16:39) and Hungarian Livia Toth (16:43). Best female Austrian athlete Andrea Mayr was fourth (16:46). In men´s 6.8 km Lema Abere Chane clocked 18:49 to win in close finish over best Austrian runner Gunther Weidlinger (also 18:49). Third another Ethiopian, Abera Kuma in 19:18 ahead of Kenyan Collins Kosgei (19:20) and Czech Jan Kreisinger (19:21).

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