Hannut, BelgiumEthiopia's 22 yearold Teyiba Erkesso easily won the 61st Hannut international cross country - EAA permit - race here yesterday, Sunday (25 Jan), taking a surprise win over Hungary’s Aniko Kalovics who has recently taken impressive wins in Rovereto and Vallagarina.
Erkesso made a quick start that left her alone with the Moroccan athlete Bouchra Ben Thami. Behind those two leaders, Great Britain's Haley Yelling, Belgium's Veerle Dejaeghere and Kalovics tried to minimise the damage of such an immediate and dramatic surge of pace.
However, all attempts to close the gap with the Ethiopian girl were in vain, as Erkesso who has personal best times of 13:35.61 for 5000m and 31:33 for 10km, pulled away even further and went on to take her first victory of this season.
Ben Thami also kept a large margin over her three pursuers to take second place, while Yelling who was 5th at the last European championships, won the sprint for third place from Dejaeghere and Kalovics.
Chemweno wins the men's sprint to the line
In the men’s race, Wilson Chemweno from Kenya carried off the honours in what was the fifth competition of this year's Lotto Crosscup series.
Chemweno who also was a winner in Mol just two weeks ago, was the fastest man in Hannut in a spectacular four-way sprint for the finish line.
The Kenyan athlete, who made the race with Belgian's Tom Van Hooste, took an early lead with Van Hooste, the Ethiopian Abebe Dinkessa and Aziz Drouche of Morocco in tow. Behind those four athletes, Joseph Keino from Kenya and Claes Nyberg from Sweden, tried to close the gap.
Attempts by Van Hooste and Dinkessa to pull away from Chemweno and Drouche failed, so the race was left to be decided in the final sprint with Chemweno taking the win.
1. Wilson Chemweno (Ken) 35:15; 2. Aziz Drouche (Mor) 35:16; 3. Abebe Dinkessa (Eth) 35:16; 4. Tom Van Hooste (Bel) 35:20; 5. Joseph Kosgei (Ken) 35:55.
1. Teyiba Erkesso (Eth) 18:46; 2. Bouchra Ben Thami (Mor) 18:57; 3. Hailey Yelling (GBR) 19:11; 4. Veerle Dejaeghere (Bel) 19:14; 5. Aniko Kalovics (Hun) 19:17.