Tag Archives: Meraf Bahta

Norah Jeruto wins the 10K Valencia Ibercaja race

Kenyan born turned Kazakhstan international, Norah Jeruto lived to her expectations as she took the top honors at the 10K Valencia Ibercaja that was be held on Sunday (9) in Paseo de la Alameda, Valencia.

The 2011 World U18 2000m steeplechase champion became the instant race favorite after Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw, the second fastest half-marathon record holder, was forced to withdraw after testing positive for Covid-19 earlier in the week.

Jeruto and Gladys Chepkurui accompanied by Norwegian Karoline Grovdal and Swedish runner Meraf Bahta broke away from the field from the very start. The pacemaker ran the first kilometer in 3:03 and second in 3:05 and considering the strong headwind it was clear that it would be almost impossible to see sub 30 minute performance in Valencia. Near the 5km marker Sweden’s Meraf Bahta tried to pull away from the lead pack crossing the half way in 15:09 just few seconds ahead of Jeruto. Meanwhile Chepkirui was sitting a few seconds away from the leaders in second place followed by Norway’s European cross country champion Grovdal.

Former Africa 3,000m steeplechase champion Jeruto gave a kick of her life as she cut the tape in 30:35 and was followed by Grovdal whose tactics paid off as she pulled away from 5km Österreichischer Frauenlauf winner to cross the line in second three seconds later.

Chepkirui was forced to finish in third spot in 30:48

Ethiopia’s Anchinalu Dessie Genaneh came home in fourth in 31:22 with Meraf Bahta finishing in fifth with a new Swedish record of 31:22



  1. Norah Jeruto             (KEN) 30:35
  2. Karoline Grovdal     (NOR) 30:38
  3. Gladys Chepkurui    (KEN) 30:48
  4. Anchinalu Genaneh (ETH) 31:01
  5. Meraf Bahta             (SWE) 31:22 NR

Ejegayehu Taye breaks Beatrice Chepkoech’s world 5Km Record

Ethiopia’s Ejegayehu Taye broke the World 5k record at the at the Cursa dels Nassos event that was held on the New Year Eve (Dec 31) in Barcelona.

The 21 year-old had set an Ethiopian 3000m record of 8:19.52 earlier this year, and was the second-fastest woman in the world over the 5000m this season, but this race in Barcelona was her second International road race of her career.

Taye opened up a clear gap on Sweden’s Meraf Bahta in the early stages and went on to set the new world record when she cut the in 14:18, taking 25 seconds off the previous record for the 5km in a mixed race. Bahta was second in 15:04.

The previous women’s world 5km record in a mixed race was 14:43 set by Beatrice Chepkoech in Monaco in February whereas Senbere Tefere clocked 14:29 set in Germany in September in a women-only race.

Chemtai writes history as she wins Israel first ever gold at European Championships

Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter became the first Israeli woman ever to win a gold medal in any discipline at a European Athletics Championships when she won the 10,000m tonight in dominant fashion on a hot and sticky evening at Olympic Stadium here.

Salpeter, 29, who switched her allegiance from Kenya to Israel in March, 2016, controlled the pace from gun to tape and clocked 31:43.28, a comfortable nine seconds ahead of the Netherlands’s Susan Krumins (31:52.55). Sweden’s Meraf Bahta was a distant third in 32:19.34.

Salpeter was overwhelmed with joy and national pride as she strode into the mixed zone and received a tight embrace from her husband and coach, Dan Salpeter, who then playfully dumped ice cubes over her head.

“It means a lot,” Salpeter told Race Results Weekly when asked what this gold medal meant to her. “It is an honor to my country.”

Salpeter made effective use of a fartlek strategy to defeat the other 25 women she faced tonight on the stadium’s blue oval. Running the early laps with Turkey’s Yasemin Can, the defending champion, and Romania’s Ancuta Bobocel, Salpeter allowed the pace to vary from an honest 74.6 seconds for the opening lap, to a slow 80 seconds for the next two. She had an idea that varying the pace might tire her opponents.

“I say, maybe I will play a little bit game,” Salpeter said. “It was my tactic.”

After the 4000m mark, Salpeter dropped a 69.9-second lap, to break open the race. Only Can was able to cover that move, leaving Bobocel behind with Bahta and Krumins. It looked like the two former Kenyans would run away with the race, but on the next lap the duo slowed to 77 seconds providing Krumins and Bahta a chance to catch up. Through 5000m (15:52.13) Can was with Salpeter in front with small gap on Krumins and Bahta. Bobocel was too far behind to contend for a medal and eventually dropped out.

In the second half of the race, Salpeter kept her pace in the 75 to 76-second range lap after lap. Krumins did her best to stay close, and got within three seconds at 8400m, but eventually the Dutchwoman began to wilt in the heat.

“I was worried at one point I was not going to get to the finish line because I could not pick up my feet,” the 2009 NCAA 1500m champion for Florida State told Race Results Weekly. Determined to keep going she said she told herself, “That medal is mine.”

For good measure, Salpeter ran her final lap in 72.6 seconds to put the race away. Krumins, her body pitched forward with fatigue in the final 50 meters, willed herself to the finish before collapsing to the track.

“Never,” Krumins said when asked if she had ever worked so hard to finish a race.

Behind the gold and silver medalists, Bahta had moved into third before the 9000m mark and had a comfortable lead over fourth place Alina Reh of Germany (Can would finish fifth). Nonetheless, Bahta sprinted the final 50 meters because a lapped athlete, Olena Serdyuk of Ukraine, sprinted against the Swede mistakenly thinking she was running her final lap. Serdyuk shows in the official results as a “DNF” with a 24th lap time of 32:19.62, less than half a second different from Bahta’s.

“Despite being disappointed that I didn’t have a strong race from the start, I’m still very happy with my result,” Bahta told European Athletics interviewers. “It’s a medal after all.”

Nyairera out to make amends as she battles Semenya and Niyosaba in Lausanne

Olympic 800m bronze medallist Margaret Nyairera is seeking to bounce back at the Lausanne Diamond League meeting tomorrow after failing to finish in Paris a week ago.

Nyairera has had a mixed season so far at the circuit, finishing sixth at the Prefontaine Classic in Oregon, where she posted 1:58.67 in her first outing.
Nyairera hopes to find her form ahead of the Africa Championships slated for Nigeria next month. “The Diamond league races will enable me find the right form ahead of the Africa Championship,” she added.
Nyairera, who bagged silver the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast last April, said the early start to the season has contributed to her struggles on track. “The season started early with the Commonwealth Games but I hope come the Africa even,  I will be in peak condition,” she added. World and Commonwealth Games champion Caster Semenya won the two-lap race in Paris in 1:54.25. Former world champion Eunice Sum will also be in contention in the Swiss city after finishing ninth in 1:59.25 in Paris.
The two Kenyans will face off with Olympic silver medallist Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi, who was second in Paris behind Semenya in 1:55.86. Others to look out for include Ajee Wilson of the United States, home favourite Selina Buchel, Lynsey Sharp of the United States and Alemu Habitam of Ethiopia.
Davis Kiplangat leads a formidable strong Kenyan contingent in the 5000 metres alongside Collins Cheboi, Vincent Letting, David Bett, Sylvester Kiprotich and Richard Kimunyan in the 12-lap race.
They face stern test from Ethiopia’s World champion Muktar Edris alongside Yomif Kekelecha and world Under-18 champion Selemon Barega in a competitive field that is expected to produce fireworks.
Winny Chebet will lead Kenya’s hunt in the 1,500 metres alongside Nelly Jepkosgei and Emiliy Cherotich. The trio will be up against Hassan Sifan (Netherlands), Meraf Bahta (Sweden), Laura Muir (Great Britain), Dawit Seyaum, Gudaf Tsegay (Ethiopia), Liden Hall (Australia) and Arafi Rababe (Morocco).

Hellen Obiri finishes distant fourth as Genzebe Dibaba retains 3000m title

A thrilling start to the IAAF World Indoor Championships track programme ends with a first global medal for Britain’s Muir

What a start to the track programme at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham on Thursday evening, with a tremendous 3000m race and atmosphere heightened by a top British athlete in the thick of the battle for medals.

Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia won a thrilling race to claim her third successive world indoor 3000m title as Laura Muir took the bronze.

Muir went into this event as the double European indoor champion but her global record against tougher opposition had previously been less convincing.

It was led by defending champion Dibaba, the outdoor 1500m and indoor 3000m world record-holder. She had maybe not looked at her best this winter but still easily topped the 2018 world 1500m and 3000m lists and was bidding to win Ethiopia’s eighth gold in the last nine editions where they have won a total of 14 medals.

Much of that success had not only been down to Dibaba but to Meseret Defar, who had won four golds, two silvers and a bronze over those eight championships. With Defar now retired from the track, the East African nation surprisingly chose junior Fantu Worku rather than 2016 runner-up Dawit Seyaum as their second option.

Also in the field was the 2017 world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri and the 2016 world indoor 1500m champion Sifan Hassan, who won the world 5000m bronze in 2017.

Other possible medal contenders were expected to be Shelby Houlihan, who finished with a 28-second last 200m to win the US Champs, Germany’s European under-23 1500m champion Konstanze Klosterhalfen and former European 5000m champion Meraf Bahta of Sweden.

Most of the home crowd’s attention though was on Muir. Scotland have a good record in the event with Yvonne Murray having won by the record margin of 12 seconds in 1993 and Liz McColgan was second in 1988.

Liz’s daughter Eilish was Muir’s team-mate here and, like Muir, is doubling up at 1500m. They have a much simpler task than McColgan senior had 30 years ago.

She had 13 minutes recovery after her world record-pace 3000m and still placed sixth in the shorter event. They have a whole day to the heats.

The race started at a relative jog with Muir ahead in 36 seconds with McColgan second and Dibaba at the back of the field of 14.

The first 400m was completed in 75.31 with Muir still ahead. “We didn’t think anyone would take it out hard,” said Andy Young, Muir’s coach, “and I said to Laura that if she found herself at the front then that’s fine as she’d be running the shortest distance, staying out of trouble and with no wind obviously as it’s indoors.”

The pace got slower rather than faster as Muir led the pack through 800m in 2:35.76 – over 80 seconds for that second 400m which is outside 10 minutes pace.

Just before the completion of the first kilometre, Klosterhalfen pushed ahead and led through the mark in 3:14.67 and the pace picked up significantly.

Halfway was reached with the German ahead in 4:41 and 1600m in 4:58.66. The next 400m she kept the pressure on with a 69-second section and gradually the contenders began to emerge as 2000m was reached in 6:07.62.

Muir had been running on the inside in fourth or fifth but was having trouble moving up on the outside such was the increased tempo. Dibaba then shot ahead in the final kilometre and began even more of a drive for home and now eight were left in the battle for medals.

The 400m between 2000m and 2400m was run in 64.5 and Dibaba now had a small lead with Obiri, Klosterhalfen, Hassan and Muir the only likely challengers. The Ethiopian’s 400m up to the bell was a vicious 62.43 and she was now clear but Hassan and Muir were in hot pursuit and began to close along the back straight.

Dibaba held her form in covering that last circuit in 30.44 but even faster were her two pursuers. Muir got right up to the Dutch athlete’s shoulder and sensing Muir was closing, she moved from the inside to lane three, risking disqualification, and the pair finished about four metres back and separated by a 10th of a second.

Dibaba’s final kilometre was 2:37 – around 7:52 pace – and the second half a very fast 4:04, which was 37 seconds quicker than the first half!

“I’m very happy to be indoor champion for the third time,” said Dibaba. “This is a great competition and the race was fantastic. This day is for me and my country.

“It was a tactical race and I controlled all the competitors. With 1000m left they all pushed very hard and at that moment I had to go and win the race.

“I’m surprised I wasn’t good in 2017 but 2018 is my time. Tomorrow in the 1500m I will try to get gold medal number two.”

Muir was delighted with her first global medal and said: “Thank you to the crowd. I had to dig in on that last lap. I ran as hard as I could.

“I felt so much more relaxed here than I was at Sopot four years ago when the pressure got to me. I did not intend to lead, just to stay out of trouble and then it was a case of following the pace and trying to run on the inside but stay in contact and wait for the move.

“I feel I’m improving every year and getting stronger.”

Young added: “It was maybe the most stacked field of the championships, unless you also include the (women’s) 1500m too! So to come out with a medal in that situation is fantastic. She came so close to a silver medal as well, but it was still a great race.”

Obiri was a distant fourth, four seconds behind Muir, with Houlihan using her kick for fifth as Klosterhalfen faded to seventh.

Source: athleticsweekly.com