Former World Cross Country bronze medallist (short race) Teyiba Erkesso, and Werkitu Ayana were two of the impressive winners at the 22nd MOHA Jan Meda Addis Ababa Municipal Cross Country Championships in Addis Ababa held on 31 December 2005 and 1 January 2006.
But the surprise of the championships was Prisons’ club runner Chaltu Girma, who defeated some of Ethiopia’s established stars on her way to victory in the 4km short course race.
Erkesso continues to recover after low year
The two days of competition were just any regular weekend days for Ethiopians who use a different calendar system and consequently celebrate their new year on 11 September, but there was nothing regular or ordinary about the running performances.
The senior races were without some of Ethiopia’s top elites, but they were not missed as up and coming athletes took opportunity to show what they can do under the spotlight.
In the women’s 8km race, there was clearly only ever going to be one winner, Teyiba Erkesso, who continues her comeback from injury and illness in 2005. The Prisons club runner, who also won the Iris Lotto Cross Cup in Brussels two weeks ago, dominated the four-lap race and took the win in 25:58 with Wude Ayalew of the EEPCO sports club and Ahaza Kiros, second in the 2005 TOYOTA Great Ethiopian Run, occupying the other places on the medal podium.
But there was disappointment for 1998 World junior Cross and track silver medallist Yemenashu Taye who was celebrating her 27th birthday today (1 Jan) as she finished and very well adrift off the field.
Girma shocks field in women’s 4km
The biggest cheer of the two-day competition was reserved for Chaltu Girma who defeated Mestawot Tufa in the women’s 4km race. The Prisons’ club runner took the win in 12:43 with Tufa having to settle for third in 12:56.
Ayana dominates junior’s race
Werkitu Ayana was one of the promising runners to emerge from 2005 and she continued her improved performance on the first day of the new year with victory in the women’s 6km junior race.
Ayana was part of Ethiopia’s World Cross squad for the last two editions of the World Cross Country Championships finishing fourth and ninth, and looks to be an early favourite for this year’s junior race given her overwhelming dominance of her race in the Jan Meda race course.
There was little doubt as to who will be the eventual race winner even from the onset as the tall, but slender runner cut an imposing figure sitting at the back of the leading pack at the end of the first lap.
Ayana seemed to float effortlessly in very warm conditions in Addis Ababa and deservedly took the win in 19:30, with second place finisher Konjit Tilahun trailing the winner by ten seconds.
In the men’s 4km race, Addis Ababa Municipal 10,000m champion Solomon Molla chose to wait until the final 200m to take the win from Ashenafi Kiros . Molla, who finished ninth in the junior race in the 2005 World Cross, took victory in 11:16, two seconds ahead of Kiros.
But Molla’s attempt of doubling up in the 8km junior race ended with third place behind little-known Dereje Abebe and Chala Lemi, who finished 13th in the 2005 World Cross junior race.
Tadesse Tola took the win in the men’s 12km senior race, while Alemnesh Defar, younger sister of Olympic 5000m champion Meseret Defar, was victorious in the special women’s 4km race which was contested among athletes of Addis Ababa’s ten sub-cities.
Elshadai Negash for the IAAF
22nd MOHA Jan Meda Addis Ababa Municipal Cross Country Championships Official Results
Saturday 31 December 2005
6km Junior Women
1. Werkitu Ayana (Ethiopian Banks) 19:30
2. Konjit Tilahun (Ethiopian Banks) 19:40
3. Chaltu Girma (Prisons) 19:42
4. Koreni Jelila (Defense) 19:46
5. Emebet Batcha (Ethiopian Banks) 19:49
6. Makeda Haroun (Prisons) 19:52
1. Teyiba Erkesso (Prisons) 25:58
2. Wude Ayalew (EEPCO) 26:03
3. Ahaza Kiros (EEPCO) 26:09
4. Yemenashu Taye (Omedla) 26:15
5. Mestawot Tufa (Omedla) 26:24
6. Asknakech Mengistu (Prisons) 26:40
1. Solomon Molla (Ethiopian Banks) 11:16
2. Ashenafi Kiros (Defense) 11:18
3. Tesfaye Mengistu (Ethiopian Banks) 11:19
4. Dagim Getnet (Home Furnish) 11:19 (11:18:79)
5. Bruck Debrework (Andinet Tsere-AIDS) 11:20 (11:19.29)
6. Dereje Tadesse (Rental Houses) 11:21
Sunday 1 January 2006
1. Chaltu Girma (Prisons) 12:43
2. Werkitu Ayana (Ethiopian Banks) 12:47
3. Mestawot Tufa (Omedla) 12:56
4. Yemenashu Taye (Omedla) 12:58 (12:57.52)
5. Wude Ayalew (EEPCO) 12:58 (12:57.82)
6. Belaynesh Fekadu (EEPCO) 12:59 (12: 58.49)
1. Tadesse Tola (Prisons) 34:26
2. Demissew Tsega (St. George) 34:32
3. Deriba Merga (Private) 34:33 (34:32:38)
4. Teferi Batcha (St. George) 34:33 (34:32:67)
5. Kedir Burka (Omedla) 34:51
6. Yared Dagnachew (Teneshua Stadium) 34:53
8km Junior Men
1. Dereje Abebe (Rental Houses) 22:46
2. Chala Lemi (Ethiopian Banks) 22:49
3. Solomon Molla (Ethiopian Banks) 22:50
4. Dereje Tadesse (Unity University) 22:51
5. Kabtamu Reta (St. George) 22:52
6. Bekana Daba (Ethiopian Banks) 22:56