Two former champions, Azmeraw Bekele and Sule Utura, are among the elite athletes entered for the 15th edition of the Great Ethiopian Run 10km which takes place in Addis Ababa this coming Sunday.
Bekele is aiming to become the first athlete, male or female, to win three Great Ethiopian Run titles, having won here previously in 2010 and 2014. Utura who won the GER 10km race in 2010 is returning to competition after giving birth last year. This will be her fourth appearance in the race.
As has become the norm, several of Ethiopia’s top athletes are keeping their cards close to their chest in the run-up to the race, holding out the possibility of competing without confirming their participation. Among these is the 2012 Olympic 5,000m finalist Yenew Alemirew who finished runner-up to Bekele in 2010 and 2008 race winner Chala Dechassa.
Other athletes expected to feature at the front of the race include 2015 All-Africa 10,000m bronze medalist Adugna Tekele who finished 3rd in this race last year and 2015 All-Africa 50000m champion Getaneh Molla. Another one to watch will be Bonsa Didi who was in the lead group for much of last year’s race and has since been focusing on 10km and half-marathon distances.
In the women’s race, Utura’s strongest opposition is likely to come from a pair of marathon specialists Mamitu Daska and Meseret Mengistu. Daska has the more impressive CV including marathon wins in Dubai, Houston and Frankfurt, while Mengistu won the Paris marathon earlier this year. Both will be hoping to emulate the feat of fellow marathoner Aberu Kebede who won here in 2012.
Another athlete likely to feature strongly is Yebregual Melese who won this year’s Houston Marathon, while two younger athletes Shito Wudesa and Silanat Yesmaw will also looking to win their first big domestic title on the GER 10km. Wudesa has already shown her form on the roads in winning the overall Coca Cola Road Series title and recently won a 10km road race in France.
Cash prizes of 50,000 birr ($2,400), 20,000 birr ($960) and 10,000 birr ($480) are on offer for the top three athletes in each race.
Source: Great Ethiopian Run (GER)
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