Kenya’s Cornelius Kangogo took the win at the 30th edition of the Giro della Media Blenio in Dongio in the Italian-speaking region of Canton Ticino in southern Switzerland, held on a rainy Monday (21).
The African cross-country silver medallist held off Olympic 5000m bronze medallist Thomas Longosiwa by three seconds to win the 10km race in 28:15. Ethiopia’s world half-marathon silver medallist Guye Adola took third place in 28:21, while 2008 Olympic 5000m bronze medallist and four-time Media Blenio winner Edwin Soi finished a distant fourth in 28:42.
Kangogo went to the front from the start, leading a six-man group which included Longosiwa, Adola, Soi, 59:56 half marathon specialist Daniel Wanjiru and Bernard Bett during the third of an eight-lap circuit.
Kangogo, Longosiwa and Adola then broke away from Soi, opening up a six-second gap and reaching the half-way mark in 14:28.
The race continued as a three-man battle with Kangogo, Longosiwa and Adola fighting it out for the win until the final lap. It came down to the final straight where Kangogo pulled away from Longosiwa by three seconds, clocking 28:15.
Before today, Kangogo’s last victory on the roads came at the Corrida de Houilles last December. On the track, the 20-year-old has PBs of 3:35.72 for 1500m, 7:39.73 for 3000m and 13:15.26 in the 5000m.
“I am very happy to win this race on a very good course,” said Kangogo. “There were many people who cheered on us during the race. My goal is to run the 5000m at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next July.”
European marathon champion Viktor Rothlin, who will run his final marathon at the European Championships on home soil in Zurich, finished tenth in 30:07.
Kangogo’s name is the latest addition to a prestigious roll of honour for this popular race which was inaugurated in 1985 to celebrate the Olympic silver medal won by Markus Ryffel in the 5000m at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Ryffel won the second edition in 1986.
The list of past winners includes the likes of Paul Tergat (1996 and 1997), Haile Gebrselassie (1995), Paul Koech (1998), Richard Limo (2004), Edwin Soi (2006, 2007, 2008 and 2012), Moses Mosop (2009) and Muktar Edris (2013).
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF
1 Cornelius Kangogo (KEN) 28:15
2 Thomas Longosiwa (KEN) 28:18
3 Guye Adola (ETH) 28:22
4 Edwin Soi (KEN) 28:42
5 Daniel Wanjiru (KEN) 29:06
6 Bernard Bett (KEN) 29:19
7 Ahmed El Mazoury (ITA) 29:28
8 Simon Tesfay (ERI) 29:44
9 Tolossa Chengere (ETH) 29:57
10 Viktor Rothlin (SUI) 30:07