Muktar Edris cantered to victory in the famous and historic Giro Internazionale Citta di Trento 10km race in Italy, the Ethiopian winning in 28:52 to bring to an end the five-year winning streak of Kenya’s Edwin Soi on Saturday (11).
Edris came home 15 seconds in front of Kenya’s Olympic 5000m bronze medallist Thomas Longosiwa who was second in 29:07 with another Kenyan, 18-year-old Elvis Kipkoech, two seconds further back.
Local star Andrea Lalli took the early initiative during the first two of the 10 laps around the city centre of the town in north eastern Italy, with the race able to trace its origins back to 1907, before Edris went to the front during the third lap.
The race really started to heat up when Edris and Longosiwa began to push the pace on the fourth lap
Edris then launched the drive that was to eventually take him to victory at the halfway point. He continued pushing hard in the early part of the second half of the race and quickly opened up a 50-metre gap over Kipkoech and Longosiwa. The Kenyan duo fought for second place in an exciting neck-and-neck battle which was only decided when Longosiwa pulled away late on the final circuit.
“I realised that I could win after 4km," said Edris, the 2012 world junior 5000m champion. "I did not expect to break away so early. After launching my kick at halfway I controlled the race. I did not think about the course record (28:29 by Kenya's Moses Mosop in 2008), I just ran for the win.
“After a road race in Pettinengo, I will return to Ethiopia to prepare for the cross-country season, I am planning for the 2015 World Cross Country Championships but first I will have to qualify at the Ethiopian Trials," he added. "It will be very tough as there are so many strong runners."
Lalli, the 2012 European cross-country champion, was the first local runner home in fifth place after his early heroics, crossing the line in 29:17, a confidence-boosting result ahead of his third marathon this autumn, while five-time winner Soi was not in the shape of previous years and on this occasion had to settle for sixth place.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF
1 Muktar Edris (ETH) 28:52
2 Thomas Longosiwa (KEN) 29:07
3 Elvis Kipkoech (KEN) 29:09
4 Geoffrey Kusuro (UGA) 29:16
5 Andrea Lalli (ITA) 29:17
6 Edwin Soi (KEN) 29:25