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
- Norah Jeruto (KEN) 30:35
- Karoline Grovdal (NOR) 30:38
- Gladys Chepkurui (KEN) 30:48
- Anchinalu Genaneh (ETH) 31:01
- Meraf Bahta (SWE) 31:22 NR