BENGALURU:Legendary Ethiopian athlete Haile Gebrselassie, who flagged off the Bangalore Marathon in October last year, would have been a proud man had he been in the Garden City on Sunday. His countrymates dominated the World 10K, winning the top two spots in both Elite sections, in the process pushing the Kenyans into third and fourth spots at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.
Mosinet Geremew won the men’s race, with Fikadu Seboka coming second, while Kenyans Edwin Kiptoo and Micah Kogo ended third and fourth.
The women’s race saw Mamitu Daska corner glory as Wude Ayalew upstaged Gladys Chesir of Kenya for the runner-up spot, while Helah Kiprop was fourth.
Mosinet raced with the bunch of four while Kenyan David Bett called the shots, but he sgrew stronger as the race progressed and won in 00:28.16 secs, while Fikadu clocked 00:28.18 secs.
“It was a difficult course with lots of ups and downs and also twists and turns. The field was tough too. But I knew I could out-sprint them so I bade my time and then made my decisive move with 400 metres to go. I knew I would not be caught. I’m delighted to be back in India,” said Mosinet.
“This was my first race here. Mosinet was stronger at the finish and though I tried hard, he was too good,” Fikadu opined.
Meanwhile, marathoner Mamitu had no difficulty in taking over the running, past the 2km mark. She judged the field and then dropped back in a slow paced race initially as Helah Kiprop took charge and showed the way. But Mamitu, making full use of her stamina, powered ahead and virtually came in alone to breast the tape first in 00:31.57 secs. Chesir was overpowered by Ayalew inside the final 50 metres for the second spot, while Kiprop ended fourth.
“I went ahead and then waited for them to take the initiative. But at the 5km-mark, I decided to go ahead. I was alone in front and looked back repeatedly to see where they were. I knew they would not be able to get me,” said Mamitu.
“I thought I would be second but I don’t know from where Wude (Ayalew) came,” added Chesir.
In the Indian Open, Suresh Kumar clipped ten seconds of the men’s Indian Open run to bag the men’s title, while L Surya won the women’s event.
Suresh has now won the event all three times he has participated. He was not in the line up last year, but won it in 2013 and 2012. He breasted the tape in 29.49 secs, breaking the mark of 29.59 for the event set by army man Kashinath in 2008. Suresh’s Pune Army Institute mates Kheta Ram and T Gopi ended second and third respectively.
In the women’s race, Surya and last year’s winner Swati Gadhave fought for early supremacy, with the experienced Monika Athara matching strides briefly. But Surya, who won the 10,000m event in the Federation Cup in Mangaluru, sprinted to glory in 00:35.58 secs. Swati finished ahead of Monika.
Results (top five)
Elite: Men: Mosinet Geremew (ETH) 00:28:16; Fikadu Seboka (ETH) 00:28:18; Edwin Kiptoo (KEN) 00:28:20; Micah Kogo (KEN)00:28:29; Birhanu Legese (ETH) 00:28:42.
Women: Mamitu Daska (ETH) 00:31:57; Wude Ayalew (ETH) 00:32:10; Gladys Chesir (KEN) 00:32:12; Helah Kiprop (KEN) 00:32:19; Emily Chebet (KEN) 00:32:25.
Indian: Men: Suresh Kumar 00:29:49 (NCR) (Overall 13th); Kheta Ram 00:30:40 (16th); T Gopi 00:30:42 (17th); MD Yunus 00:30:44 (18th); Govinda Singh 00:30:49 (19th).
Women: Surya L 00:35:58 (Overall 13th); Swati Gadhave 00:36:15 (14th); Monika Athare 00:36:54 (15th); Priti Lamba 00:37:21 (16th); Phoolan Pal 00:37 55 (17th).