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Kolkata 25K: Ethiopian duo rule Kolkata roads

THE ASIAN AGE. | DEEPIKA DAS
Published : Dec 18, 2017, 12:40 am IST
Updated : Dec 18, 2017, 12:42 am IST

Eritrea’s Tsegay Tuemay was second in 1:14: 29 while Augustino Sulle of Tanzania finished 12 seconds later to take the third spot.

Kenenisa Bekele (centre) crosses the finish line to win the international overall elite men’s title at the Kolkata 25K race on Sunday.
 Kenenisa Bekele (centre) crosses the finish line to win the international overall elite men’s title at the Kolkata 25K race on Sunday.

Kolkata: World record holder in the 5,000m and 10,000m, Kenesisa Bekele emerged the champion of the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K race on a cool Sunday morning here. The Ethiopian won in 1 hour 13 minutes and 48 seconds, creating a new course record en route to the podium.

Eritrea’s Tsegay Tuemay was second in 1:14: 29 while Augustino Sulle of Tanzania finished 12 seconds later to take the third spot.

“The course is nice and flat all through. I have been training hard and the result showed. This was my first 25K and it feels good to have won it. It was a tactical race and I paced myself depending on the kind of competition I faced,” the winner said.

Bekele did pace his race brilliantly maintaining a steady run along with the others till the 21km mark, and then gradually moved ahead.

He covered the last four kilometres way ahead of the pack and by the time he reached the finish line, his closest competitor was nowhere in sight.

“The weather was good though a little smokey in certain parts. But it was not difficult to manage. I had a great race and would like to come back here next year. Kolkata has been very warm and hospitable,” Bekele said.

Bekele, who ran his maiden race in the country, though rued the absence of a pacemaker.

“In a race like this you need a pacemaker, which sets you up for a fast finish. I was pushing myself, but that was not enough. I would have pushed my timing by 90 seconds at least if I had a pacemaker,” he said.

In the elite women’s group, the first place was taken by Ethiopia’s Degitu Azimeraw with a timing of 1.26.01, followed by Kenya’s Helah Kiprop (1.26.04) and Failuna Matanga (1.26.11) of Tanzania in a close-finish.

For Kiprop, it was mission accomplished who was participating in the third race in the country and was determined to return with a medal.

Sable, Surya take top honours
In the elite national section, winner Avinash Sable set a course record of 1.15.17, breaking the previous one created by G. Lakshmanan, who took the third spot with 1.17.13 —better than his mark last year.

Kalidas Hirave was second with 1.16.18, bettering last year’s record of 1.17.23.

In the Indian women’s, L. Surya won in 1.26.53 beating Sudha Singh’s course record of 1.27.31 . Manju Yadav was second at 1.32.51 ahead of local girl Jhuma Khatun (1.32.58). All three were from Railways.

The 22-year-old Sable came fourth while Surya was fifth overall.

Tags: kenesisa bekele