- Newcomer Senbere Teferi resisted the tough challenge from experienced marathon runner Teki Gelana to take victory in the 9th edition of Choice Women First 5km, the only ‘women’s only’ road race in Ethiopia, on Sunday (11).
With two-time defending champion Sule Utura giving the race a miss, Gelana was expected to use her experience over the full marathon and her four previous appearances in this race to take victory.
And the 24-year old, who has a marathon PB of 2:22.08 and half marathon personal best of 1:08.48, tried her best to justify her pre-race favourite tag by surging ahead from the onset with only Makeda Haroun and young duo Makeda Haroun and Hirut Alemayehu following closely behind.
After the 2nd kilometre, only three remained in the leading group as Alemayehu dropped back and out of contention. At the halfway point, it looked like the race was going to follow the form book, but young Senbere had other ideas.
Taking over the lead just past the halfway point, the 16-year-old opened a sizable gap over Gelana after three and half kilometres and looked to create one of the biggest surprises in the race’s nine-year history. Gelana made a gallant effort to regain the lead putting considerable pressure on the youngster in the last 800m, but the World Youth 1500m silver medallist (PB 4:10.54) held on to cross the line in 16:03. Gelana won the challenge for second place in 16:07, albeit just one second ahead of Haroun.
After grabbing victory in her Women First debut, Senbere said, "I was in Ambo youth development project for one year and just got the chance to join a club this year. Today's race was good and I am very glad to win it."
Elshadai Negash (with the assistance of Bizuayehu Wagaw) for the IAAF
2012 Choice Women First 5k results
1. Senbere Teferi (Federal Prison) 16:03
2. Teki Gelana (Defence) 16:07
3. Makeda Haroun (Unattached) 16:08
4. Hirut Alemayehu (Unattached) 16:17
5. Seada Kedir (Bethel Teaching) 16:21
6. Bekelech Daba (Unattached)16:25