Meseret Hailu wins IAAF World Half Marathon Champs, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Meseret Hailu won the IAAF World Half Marathon Champs in a big upset. Zersaney Tadese, who has won four before the year 2010, took silver in 2010, now wins his fifth World Half Marathon Championships. Might be his perfect distance! 


Zersasney Tadese leads, WC 2009, photo by

EWS (OCT 6, 2012)

Hailu surprise winner
KAVARNA (BUL, Oct 6): IAAF writes that battling against warm and humid conditions, Meseret Hailu led Ethiopia to an upset victory in the team race with her surprise triumph at the 20th edition of the World Half Marathon Championships. Temperatures along the sunny course that wound through this Black Sea coastal city of 12,000 rose to 30 degrees during the morning's first race, but that didn't seem to faze the unheralded 22-year-old Hailu, who crossed the line in 1:08:55, a performance that sliced more than two minutes from her previous personal best. It was also the closest race ever at these Championships, with her victory not secured until she passed Feyse Tadese in the race's final 15 metres to win by less than a second. Tadese's 1:08:56 for silver was a season's best, and a satisfactory improvement over her fourth place finish at this event in Nanning, China, two years ago. Kenyan Pasalia Kipkoech's strong front-running was rewarded with the bronze in 1:09:04, with Lydia Cheromei (1:09:13) fourth and Embet Etea of Ethiopia (1:10:01) a distant fifth. Pauline Njeri (1:10:22) held on for sixth while Briton Gemma Steel, propelled by a strong second half, was seventh, her 1:11:09 a career best and top position by an European runner. Behind Ethiopia and Kenya team bronze for Japan ahead of best European team Great Britain. From IAAF.

Tadese is the Half King
KAVARNA (BUL, Oct 6): Eritrean Zersenay Tadese lived up to his moniker of 'Mr. Half Marathon' after collecting his fifth world road running title in Bulgaria. Running at the front from just beyond the five-kilometre point, the 30-year-old Eritrean romped to a 1:00:19 performance to win by a whopping 32 seconds, an impressive clocking given the hot and humid conditions. He had four wins before 2010, a silver in 2010.  "But it was a tough race, I was very tired from the travel." Flight delays forced Tadese and his teammates to spend a night at a terminal in Vienna Airport before finally arriving in Kavarna at 2 p.m. Friday. Silver for Ethiopian Deressa Chimsa 1:00:51 life-time best (previous 1:02:22) and bronze for best Kenyan John Mwangangi 1:01:01. Next positions also for Kenyans with Pius Kirop 1:01:11, Stephen Kibet 1:01:40 and Eliud Kipchoge 1:01:52. Best non-African Brazilian Giovani dos Santos as 14th (1:02:32) and best European French Jean Habarurema as 20th in 1:03:59. In teams Kenya won ahead of Eritrea and Ethiopia, fourth USA ahead of Uganda. Best European team France as 8th. With the help from IAAF.

STATS FROM KAVARNA  (by Ken Nakamura) 
WOMEN:  The women's race with difference of one second between first and second was closest ever in the history. Ethiopia won gold and silver for the first time. Previously only Kenya and Romania won multiple medals. It was only second 1-2 finish by athletes from the same nation. In 2009 Keitany and Ongori from Kenya were one and two. It was only second gold for Ethiopian women (individual), first was Berhane Adere in 2002. The winning time of 1:08:55 is the slowest since 2005 when 1:09:17 won the race.
MEN: The second 5 km was covered in 13:44, the second fastest 5 km split. Zersenay Tadese became the five time Champion. Only he and Paul Tergat won this event more than once.  Chimsa won second silver medal for Ethiopia, Jifar won silver in 2001. Kenya failed to win at least silver for the first time since 2005. Japanese Yuki Kawauchi who finished 21st may be the fastest amateur runner in the field, as he has regular 40 hour/week non-running related job.

Abakumova and Tarabin
MOSCOW (RUS): Another post olympic wedding. 2011 World javelin Champion Mariya Abakumova married another javelin specialist, the 2011 European U23 Champion Dmitriy Tarabin. As per first informations Abakumova will keep her name and not change to Tarabina. Interesting that Abakumova is five years older than her husband.


SYDNEY (AUS): Amy Pejkovic, a willowy blonde high jumper equally at home on the catwalk as she is in the athletics arena, had all but qualified alongside the likes of London Olympian Steve Solomon for Australia's world junior athletics team when she was rushed to hospital the morning after her 19th birthday with another bout of vomiting and blinding headaches. After doctors told her she had a middle-ear infection, the teenager - who had won the silver medal at the 2009 world youth championships in Italy and was preparing for the London Olympic trials - was devastated when a scan revealed an insidious five-centimetre brain tumour. For Pejkovic, whose entire focus was on competing at the world junior championships in Barcelona and the Olympic team trials in Melbourne, the diagnosis was terrifying - but at least it proved she was not an uncommitted athlete. Pejkovic intends to use what she openly calls her ''second chance'' to make the most of her life and, in terms of athletics, that includes competing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Rio Games. Last week Pejkovic attended her first full training session on the Central Coast and even during the worst of it, such as the sand hills and boxing drills. Informs

KINGSTON (JAM): Olympic 100 m winner  Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has admitted that self-doubt plagued her early career. The 25-year-old said it was after her epiphany about taking charge of her life that she began to focus, which resulted in her tremendous success in Beijing. Writes Jamaica Observer. Fraser-Pryce was one of nine outstanding speakers who presented to over 400 team members at the 23rd Sagicor Motivational Seminar (SMS) at Iberostar Rosehall Suites Hotel in Montego Bay under the theme 'On A Mission'.

AUCKLAND (NZL): Up and coming athletics stars from Auckland are among those who will get to meet athletics legend Usain Bolt on Monday. NZ media are informing. Joshua Hawkins, 18, (110m hurdles), Dalton Coppins, 17, (200m), Rochelle Coster 24, (100m hurdles) and 12-year-old Stella Pearless (800m, 400m) will get tips from Bolt at the AUT Millennium on Auckland's North Shore. Pearless is the daughter of 1984 Olympian Peter Pearless. Bolt will be in Auckland for less than 24 hours as part of promotional activity for Gatorade and will also train with the Breakers basketball team.

LONDON (GBR): Britain's International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president Sir Craig Reedie has claimed that the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will provide sport in the United Kingdom with the "next great moment" following the successful London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. In a special event at the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood in Edinburgh, Sir Craig said he expects Glasgow 2014 to build on the London 2012 success story. Scotstoun Stadium will stage athletics competitions during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Writes insidethegames.

MARIETTA (USA): Local media are informing that iIn a two-month span, Aries Merritt became an Olympic gold medalist and a world record-holder in the 110-meter hurdles. And he'll never forget where his storied career got its start -- the track inside Wheeler's Corky Kell Stadium. In looking back upon his memorable high school experience, which culminated in a 2003 Class state championship, it was Merritt who took the initiative to visit his high school and speak to the student body. Merritt is actually the second Wheeler athlete to win a gold medal, joining his former high school teammate, Reggie Witherspoon, who won gold as part of the U.S. 1,600 relay at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.


IBARRA (ECU, Oct 1): Angela Tenorio (16 years old) clocked 11.59 at 100 m and 23.74 (-0.2) personal bests at 200 m during the National Junior Games.

GIFU (JPN, Oct 5): At the 67th National Sports Festival in the youth boys 100 m Yoshihide Kiryu won the 100 m final in 10.21 (+0.1) and was better than youth world best of US Rynell Parson 10.23 from 2007. Hitomi Niiya achieved in women 5000 m meet record 15:17.79.

PILA (POL, Oct 6): Jakub Jelonek won the 20 km walk in 1:25:40. Polish junior champions are Wiktor Szabo 1:34:29 and Joanna Bemowska 1:46:35.

GRODNO (BLR, Oct 6): Aleksandr Lyakhovich in 1:22:55 won the 21st edition of international walking meet Memorial Piotr Pochincuk. Russian Mariya Rudakova won the 10 km for women in 43:34 ahead of Anna Drabenya 44:31. In the accompanying Grodno Run at 6 km wins for Maksim Pankratov 17:48 and Svetlana Kudelich 19:34.

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