Running in hot conditions, Ethiopia's Tesfay Lencho Anbesa and Belaynesh Tsegaye triumphed at the Vidovdan Road Race 10km, an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race, in Brcko, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on Saturday (24) evening.
Until the fifth kilometre, the lead group of four remained tight, but at the start of the sixth, you could clearly see that Lencho was handling the heat better than others. Making a break, he built a substantial advantage of some fifty metres over Derara Desalegn Hurisa, a lead he kept through the final kilometre when he began to accelerate when it was clear he would be the winner in Brcko.
"I knew it would be hard," said Lencho, who clocked 29:24. "I had to fight against both the heat and fierce competition."
"My tactic was to go in strong and to try to make my advantage in the second part of the race which proved successful. I must thank this great audience which understands athletics and gave me support along the entire course. I really enjoyed it."
Hurisa was the runner-up in 29:55 with Italy's Ahmed El Mazoury third in 30:01.
Despite the start time temperature of 32 C --it was 31 at the finish -- it was obvious that the women's field appeared more fresh -- at least at the start when half a dozen ran within 100 metres of each other through the first half.
The sixth kilometre would prove decisive. Tsegaye made a move to build a 30 to 40 metre lead ahead of chief rival Leonidah Mosop. She kept the advantage through the finish to win unchallenged in 33:50.
"This is my first time here and I’m delighted with complete ambiance of the race," Tsegaye said. "I rarely had an experience where the spectators truly understand athletes and know to give support when it’s most important. I think I didn’t disappoint and I am really happy."
Mosop was second in 34:27 with Uganda's Doreen Chemutai third another minute back in 35:32. The home favourite, Lucia Kimani, ran well considering the heat and finished fourth in 36:29. "I am happy I was able to give this great audience enjoyment with my performance," said Mosop. "Considering the temperature I’m happy with my result. If the temperature was a little lower I’m sure the race would be faster."
Organisers for the IAAF
1 Lencho Tesfaye Anbesa (ETH) 29:25
2 Derara Desalegn Hurisa (KEN) 29:57
3 Ahmed El Mazoury (ITA) 30:01
4 Samuel Naibei Kiplimo (KEN) 30:33
5 Tamas Kovacs (HUN) 32:12
1 Belaynesh Tsegaye Beyene (ETH) 33:50
2 Leonidah Mosop (KEN) 34:27
3 Doreen Chemutai (UGA) 35:32
4 Lucia Kimani (BIH) 36:30
5 Tunde Szabo (HUN) 36:43