Abebe Dinkesa takes another victory at the Obudu International Mountain Running Race (LOC) © Copyright
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Dinkesa and Melkamu take African Mountain Running titles

Obudu Cattle Park, Cross River State, NigeriaAbebe Dinkesa and Meselech Melkamu of Ethiopia claimed victories at the Obudu International Mountain Running Race at the Obudu Rance in Nigeria’s Cross River State on Saturday (27).

More then 150 runners from seven African nations competed in the sixth edition of the race which also served as the 2nd African Mountain Running Championships for men and the first for women.

Dinkesa crossed finish line in 42:21, to win the race for the second time. In his pervious victory in 2008, Dinkesa set the still-standing course record of 41:45.

Another Ethiopian, Fidaku Awash, the winner in 2007 and 2009, took second this time around, finishing 26 seconds behind Dinkesa. Kenyan John Sompol Mnangat, who also dipped under 43 minutes, finished third to claim continental bronze.

The team title proved to be a close battle, with Uganda (formed by Geoffrey Kusoro, fourth, Macdonard Ondara, fifth, Martin Torotich and Dickson Huru) taking gold with 16 points ahead of ahead of Kenya (silver) and Ethiopia (bronze) who both scored 17 points. Host Nigeria was fourth ahead of Cameroon.

In the women’s race, Melkamu clocked a new course record of 48:57, defeating the defending champion, Ethiopian Daska Mamitu, who clocked 49:04. Ethiopian women dominated the race, taking six of the first seven spots to easily nab the team title as well. The best outside of Ethiopia was Mary Xwaymay Naali of Tanzania who finished sixth place.

Among the dignitaries attending the event were Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke; WMRA President Bruno Gozzelino; and NAF Council member, Navy Captain Omatseye Nesiama. LOC Chairman William Archibong was applauded for his work in building the event over the past six years, starting in 2005 when, with past WMRA President Danny Hughes who passed away in February 2009), he founded the race.

In his closing remarks Imoke also announced his interest to host the 29th WMRA World Mountain Running Championships, in Obudu, in 2014.

Organisers for the IAAF

Leading Results -

 1. Abebe DINKESA, ETH 42:21
 2. Fikadu AWASH, ETH 42:47
 3. John Sompol MNANGAT, KEN 42:58
 4. Stephen KIPROTICH, UGA 43:23
 5. Geoffrey KUSORO, UGA 43:44
 6. Macdonard ONDARA, KEN  43:55
 7. Gilbert Kiprono LANGAT, KEN  44:10
 8. Shadrack KOSGEI, KEN 44:19
 9. Martin TOROTICH, UGA 44:27
10. Johnstone Kibet MAIYO, KEN  44:32

 1. Meselech MELKAMU, ETH 48:57
 2. Daska MAMITU, ETH 49:04
 3. Genet YALEW KASSAHUN, ETH 50:06
 4. Belainesh GEBRE, ETH  50:37
 5. Koren Jelela YAL, ETH 52:49
 6. Mary Xwaymay NAALI, TAN 53:28
 7. Relima KEDIR, ETH 55:04
 8. Angelina MUTUKU, KEN 56:05
 9. Emily Chepkemoi SAMOEI, KEN 57:54
10. Janet DUNG, NGR 1:00:40