19 November 2012 - Boulogne-Billancourt, France - For the second consecutive year, Ethiopia made a victory sweep in Boulogne-Billancourt for the “Semi-Marathon de Boulogne-Billancourt Christian-Granger”, an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race held on Sunday (18). The 16th edition was won by Tesfaalem Gebrearegawi Mehari in 1:01:07 and Kiros Tigsti Gebreselassie in 1:11:11.
The race began in front of the Hotel de Ville in rainy conditions and the slippery pavement was not helpful to the performances. In spite of the modifications made to the course design in order to break the one-hour barrier, the chances of a new record were slim.
The men's leading group was composed of Africans. Ethiopian Wbedem Gereme, fifth in the Paris 20Km one month ago was the favourite, but he appeared to not be a factor while his little known compatriot Tesfaalem Mehari took over. With a 28:45 to his credit from the 10,000m national championships, he was a surprise leader, challenged by Kenyan Justus Moranga, a 1:01:07 performer. Mehari won the final sprint in 1:01:07 in his debut over the distance, beating Moranga by five seconds.
In the women’s race, the favourite Aynalem Woldemichael (1:11:21 in 2011) was no treat to the other Ethiopian Kiros Gebreselassie (note: also known as Tigist Kiros), who was ninth in New Delhi’s Half Maraton on 30 September with a 1:13:52 personal best. Kiros, 20, who this year competed on the roads, on the track and cross country, was clearly in the shape of her life and smashed her previous mark with 1:11:11 to win by a huge margin over Woldemichael, who clocked 1:12:43. This was still two minutes short of the race record of 1:09:26, held by Ethiopian Dado Firehiwot since 2009.
Pierre Jean Vazel for the IAAF
1. Tesfaalem Gebrearegawi Mehari (ETH) 1:01:07
2. Justus Moranga (KEN) 1:01:11
3. Alfred Cherop (KEN) 1:01:38
4. Gebreyesus Germey Aregawi (ETH) 1:01:41
5. Afewerk Mesfin Woldetensae (KEN) 1:01:50
6. Tarus edwin Kimwetich (KEN) 1:02:46
7. Yosief Teklay Andemariam (ERI) 1:02:49
8. Evans Kosgei (KEN) 1:02:51
9. Wnedem Sigat Gereme (ETH) 1:02:55
10. Korir Evans Kipkoech (KEN) 1:03:12
1. Kiros Tigsti Gebreselassie (ETH) 1:11:11
2. Aynalem Woldemichael (ETH) 1:12:43
3. Mewcha Multi Gebreselse (ETH) 1:13:13
4. Leah Rotich (KEN) 1:14:09
5. Bulbula Etcha Abebech (ETH) 1:17:09
6. Laure Caren Antraygues (FRA) 1:20:38
7. Sylvie Quittot (FRA) 1:22:02
8. Sylvaine Bon (FRA) 1:23:26
9. Laure Meheut (FRA) 1:28:47
10. Laura Franquesa Bel (FRA) 1:29:25