Lisbon, PortugalExcellent races in Oeiras in the second fixture of the IAAF Cross Country Permit Series 2010/11 passed off today (13) without rain and without sun, and except for the wind it was only the course that made it difficult for the runners.
With great hills and much sand, the 9km men’s race was a very good test for all. Eritrea’s Teklemariam Medhin, World XC silver medallist, was the favourite to win this race and he was always to be sent at front. From the beginning of the race, with his countryman Kidane Tadese, Kenyan’s Edwin Soi and Mathew Kipkoech and Portuguese Yousef El Kalai, Medhin was in the lead group.
It was a simple race with the 21-year-old Medhin waiting until just before last lap to put in a strong turn of pace to break away and finish comfortably in first place, just as he did in the opening permit meeting in Atapuerca last weekend.
“This was a tough course, much sand and lots of hills,” said the winner. “I’ve won here because I’m in a very good shape. What does this victory mean to me, in Atapuerca and Oeiras? Well, I’m very happy to win, but surely I’m happy because this was a great test to continue my preparation for my major goal of trying to become World Cross Country champion!”
In the second place, only three seconds after Medhin, came Kidane Tadese, Zersenay Tadese’s younger brother, and taking last place on the podium was Edwin Soi, the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist at 10,000m. Mathew Kipkoech arrived just after them in fourth place.
The best European runner was Portugal's Moroccan born Yousef El Kalai in fifth. He had just arrived bacl in Portugal from Kenya where he had been training. Today he remained with the leaders until Medhin’s break. The eighth place finisher at the European Championship 10,000m believed his result here had “gained him a place in the national cross country team to the European Cross Country Championship. I don’t expect to run another cross country until then.”
Of the other top Portuguese runner,s Rui Pedro Silva was sixth and Licinio Pimentel, last year’s national champion on the roads, came seventh just ahead of the young Tiago Costa.
WOMEN - Anália Rosa conquers
In the women’s 5km race, the Portuguese girls where the favourites and the strong pace of the lead runners produced a surprising winner, Anália Rosa, the former Portuguese long and short course cross country champion, who was only sixth last weekend in Atapuerca. She made her move just before the last lap had begun, after which she ran alone with a comfortable advantage that she controlled until the tape.
“I made my race. I tried to be in first place to gain my place in the Portuguese team (for the European XC champs) and I did my best. I only believed I could win when I was right in front of finish line. I made a very good and strong race but I ran all I could,” said the winner.
In the second place three seconds after the Portuguese winner came Kenya’s Annah Gatheru Wanjiru, and four seconds later came the most internationally experienced of the Portuguese runners, Ana Dias (9th in Atapuerca). In fourth place arrived European 5000m silver medallist Sara Moreira.
Australia’s former World XC champion Benita Wilis was seventh, while Portugal’s Jessica Augusto had to drop out in the early stages of the race.
António Manuel Fernandes for the IAAF
1. Teklemarian Medhin, ERI 28:33
2. Kidane Tadese, ERI 28:37
3. Edwin Soi, KEN 28:42
4. Mathew Kipkoech, KEN 28:47
5. Yousef El Kalai, POR 29:10
6. Rui Pedro Silva, POR 29:25
7. Licínio Pimentel, POR 29:28
8. Tiago Costa, POR 29:36
1. Anália Rosa, POR 20:01
2. Annah Wanjiru, KEN 20:04
3. Ana Dias, POR 20:08
4. Sara Moreira, POR 20:15
5. Sandra Teixeira, POR 21:11
6. Doroteia Peixoto, POR 21:11 (same)
7. Benita Wilis, AUS 21:16
8. Daniela Cunha, POR 21:31