Elvan Abeylegesse runs 1:07:07 in Debut at RAK, by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder

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Abeylegesse leads the pack, RAK, photo by Photorun.net.
The story of 2010 may be how many distinguished women distance runners debut on the roads. Elvan Abeylegesse was on world record pace through 15k (16.03, 31.56, 48.03), then ran 1:07:07, with two other women under 1:07:22!
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Elvan Abeylegesse wins RAK Half Marathon, 1:07:07, photo courtesy of PhotoRun.net.

ABEYLEGESSE 1:07:07 IN DEBUT AT RAK

RAS AL KHAIMAH (UAE, Feb 19): Double olympic medalist Elvan Abeylegesse of Turkey debuted excellent in the half-marathon winning the Ras Al Khaimah race in new national and course record and world leading 1:07:07. Her splits were 16:03 at 5 km, 31:56 at 10 km and 48:03 at 15 km on schedule to break the world record. She is now 11th best performer ever. Surprisingly second Mare Dibaba of Azerbaijan who is of Ethiopian origin in another national record 1:07:13 being at 15 km only one second behind the winner (48:04). Third best Aselefech Mergia of Ethiopia clocked 1:07:22 ahead of team-mates Teyba Erkesso (1:07:41) and one hour world record holder Dire Tune (1:07:58). Sixth Atsede Habtamu confirmed Ethiopian supremacy with 1:08:30 ahead of Hilda Kibet representing Netherlands (1:08:39). Best Kenyan Agnes Kiprop was 8th (1:08:48). Italian Rosaria Console was 12th in 1:11:49. Also men´s race brought top times with winning Geoffrey Mutai getting 59:43 (splits 14:04, 28:12 and 42:34) ahead of Tadese Tola 59:49. Still sub one hour for third Titus Masai (59:51, leading at split positions 14:04, 28:11, 42:33) and fourth Getu Feleke (59:56). Best runner representing a European country was Tilahun Aliyev of Azerbaijan (but Ethiopian origin) with 1:02:14 as 11th.


SIHINE, MELKAMU FOR ETHIOPIAN TRIALS

ADDIS ABABA (ETH): Olympic 10 000 m men’s silver medalist Sileshi Sihine and world championships women’s 10 000m silver medallist and the event’s African record holder Meselech Melkamu will headline the senior events in the 27th Jan Meda International Cross Country- the Ethiopian trials to select the team for the world cross country championship in Poland on Sunday, reports Elshadai Negash. His main challenger for the men’s title will be defending men’s world cross country champion Gebregziabher Gebremariam, who has won four of his six races this cross country season. Youngster Hunegnaw Mesfin was responsible for inflicting one of Gebremariam’s two defeats this season and will be a big threat. Abera Chane, winner of domestic cross country races in Sendafa and Bahir Dar; two-time former national champion Tadesse Tola; world championship 10000m fourth placer Imane Merga; road specialist Feyisa Lelisa; and reigning world junior cross country champion Ayele Abshiro will also hope for a top six finish to guarantee their place in Ethiopia’s team for Poland. Defending women’s champion and Melkamu’s club mate Wude Ayalew; 2008 world silver medallist Mestawet Tufa; and national 10000m champion Aberu Kebede are expected to be her main challengers. Double world junior cross country champion Genzebe Dibaba and world junior 5000m champion Sule Utura will make their senior cross country debuts in Jan Meda. Shito Wincha, winner of the Sululta cross country in January, is the slight favorite in the junior women’s race, although world youth 3000m bronze medalist Genet Ayalew; national junior cross country bronze medalist Emebet Ayalew; and Asmerawork Bekele will also be factors. Gashaw Biftu, Botoro Tsegaye, and Berhanu Delele will battle it for the junior men’s title.


BOLT SCORING A GOAL

KINGSTON (JAM): TrackAlerts.com informs that world´s fastest man Usain Bolt was in brilliant form this time on the football pitch on Wednesday. So impressive was Bolt he scored a goal and assisted his training partner and Commonwealth Games 400m bronze medalist, Jermaine Gonzales. But his team lost 3:4 to the entertainments in the Bob Marley One Love charity football played at the National Stadium.


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