Addia Ababa, EthiopiaWorld Junior 5000m champion Sule Utura destroyed the course record to take victory in the 2010 Choice Women First 5km in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Saturday (6).
The 21-year old, who last week missed out on a place in Ethiopia's senior World Cross Country team, clocked 15:44 to take a massive 16-second victory over Koreni Jelila with Makeda Berhanu coming home in third.
The seven-year-old race also broke ground with the participation of a record 9000 women in the race, the largest for a women's only race in East Africa.
It was no perhaps very little surprise to see Utura crowned the winner of this race, but the manner in which she dominated and took victory is a clear indication of her capabilities with the track season in Ethiopia ahead.
A large leading group that included Jelila, Utura, marathon runner Askale Tafa, steeplechaser Mekdes Bekele, and little known runners Etenesh Diro and Makeda Berhanu led the pack through the opening 2km. But Tafa, who is preparing for a spring marathon, was the first to feel the strength of the pace at the head of the pack and was dropped around the half way point. The pack continued to dwindle when Jelila, Berhanu, and Diro remained for the last two kilometres of an absorbing contest.
Jelila was the first to try an audacious break at 4km, but Utura responded by first drawing level and then moving ahead to take a deserved victory. Her time of 15:44 was a massive improvement on Asselefech Mergia's 2009 course record time of 15:57.
"This was my first appearance (here)" said Utura after the race. "As many best athletes were in the competition, it was difficult to win. But before I entered the race, I was aiming to win. Everytime I enter a race, I don't want to think about losing."
Elshadai Negash (with the assistance of Bizuayehu Wagaw)
1. Sule Utura (Defence) 15:44.20
2. Koreni Jelila (Defence) 16:00.63
3. Makeda Haroun (Federal Prison) 16:04.04
4. Etenesh Diro (Defence) 16:08.47
5. Shetaye Bedaso (Defence) 16:23.03
6. Aselefech Assefa (Muger) 16:25.12
7. Mekdes Bekele (Selam) 16:25.71
8. Yebergara Melesse (Alfa) 16:31.73
9. Aynalem Woldehawaria (Alfa) 16:37.09
10. Bekelech Daba (Alfa) 16:38.36