Abe Gashahun wins the Great Ethiopian Run (© organisers)
Abe Gashahun got within one second of the men’s course record to regain his title at the Great Ethiopian Run, while Tsigie Gebreselama finally triumphed in the women’s race in Addis Ababa on Sunday (10) after finishing third in 2018 and second in 2019.
Both races were close. Gashahun, who won the race back in 2016 as an unheralded teenager, ran alongside Milkesa Mengesha and Tadese Worku, the world U20 cross-country gold and silver medallists respectively, for most of the race.
Mengesha’s challenge faded in the second half, while Gashahun kicked past Worku in the closing stages to win by one second in 28:20. Mengesha placed third in 28:40.
Gashahun’s winning time was just one second shy of the 28:19 course record set 15 years ago by Deriba Merga.
The women’s race was similarly close. Gebreselama, the world U20 cross-country bronze medallist, held off a fierce challenge from little-known Medihen Gebreselasie to win by two seconds in 32:33 – the fourth-fastest winning time at the Great Ethiopian Run.
Gebeyanesh Ayele was further back in third place, clocking 32:45. The top five women finished inside 33 minutes.
Usually held in November, the 20th edition of the Great Ethiopian Run was moved from November 2020 to January 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Organisers also significantly reduced the size of the mass field from 50,000 to 12,500 runners to comply with the Ethiopian government’s directives.
1 Abe Gashahun 28:20
2 Tadese Worku 28:21
3 Milkesa Mengesha 28:40
4 Dagnachew Adere 28:54
5 Lencho Tesfaye 29:01
1 Tsigie Gebreselama 32:33
2 Medihen Gebreselasie 32:35
3 Gebeyanesh Ayele 32:45
4 Bosena Mulate 32:52
5 Melknat Wedu 32:55