Tag Archives: Zersenay Tadese

Nibret Melak takes on Tadese Worku at Cinque Mulini

Ethiopia’s Nibret Melak will be looking to retain his title at the 90th milestone edition of the Cinque Mulini in San Vittore Olona –  the 11th Gold level meeting of this season’s World Athletics Cross Country Tour – on Sunday (30).

Melak made a major breakthrough in March 2021 during the top two Italian cross country races when he finished second at the Campaccio in San Giorgio su Legnano behind Jacob Kiplimo and went on to win the Cinque Mulini one week later, beating Leonard Bett. The 22-year-old Ethiopian runner enjoyed a successful track season, setting a 5000m PB of 12:54.22 at the Hengelo Continental Tour Gold meeting. Last autumn he achieved two top-three spots in the World Athletics Cross Country Tour, finishing third at the Cross de Italica in Santiponce near Seville and second in Venta de Banos.

Melak will take on his younger compatriot Tadese Worku, who won the gold medal in the 3000m and silver in the 5000m at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi last August. Two years ago Worku was outsprinted by Leonard Bett in the final lap of the Cinque Mulini and had to settle for second place. This season the 20-year-old finished second at the Cross de Italica in Seville last November and won the Boclassic 10km road race on 31 December.

Worku, who came to the fore in the U20 race at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Aarhus in 2019, clocked 26:56 in the 10km road race in Herzogenaurach last October.

Another Ethiopian rising star in the line-up is Bikila Tadese Takele, who won the silver medal in 3000m steeplechase at the World U20 Championships in Nairobi. Takele improved his PB to 8:09.37 in Hengelo and came close to that time a few days later, when he finished second in 8:10.56 in the Diamond League meeting in Florence.

The Ethiopian athletes will face stiff opposition from 20-year-old Ugandan runner Oscar Chelimo, who won the bronze medal at the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018 and finished third in the individual race and second in the team competition at the 2019 World Cross Country Championships.

Chelimo, who is the younger brother of Jacob Kiplimo, won the Boclassic race in Bolzano in 2020 and finished fourth in last year’s edition of the Cinque Mulini. On the track, Chelimo took fifth place in the 5000m at the 2019 African Games in the 5000m in Rabat and crossed the finish line seventh over the same distance at the World U20 Championships in Tampere in 2018. Uganda will be also represented by Samuel Kibet, who won the silver medal at the African U20 Championships in Abidjan in 2019.

The Cinque Mulini has always lived up to its tradition of serving as a springboard for future athletics stars, who continued their careers by winning global medals at the World Championships and the Olympic Games. The rising stars to watch this year are Kenyan runners Levy Kibet, who won the bronze medal in the 5000m at the World U20 Championships in Nairobi, and 17-year-old Daniel Kinyanjui, who finished second in the Kenyan World U20 Trials in Nairobi in the 3000m. Also Eritrean runner Habtom Samuel, who finished third in the 3000m at the 2021 World U20 Championships. Eritrea has not won the men’s race at the Cinque Mulini since Zersenay Tadese’s triumph in 2008.

The Italian challenge is led by Ahmed Abdelwahed, who clocked the fourth fastest national time in the 3000m steeplechase when clocking 8:12.04 at the Golden Gala in Florence last June, and twin brothers Ala Zoghlami (ninth in the Olympic final in the 3000m steeplechase in 8:18.50 after improving his PB to 8:14.06 in the heats) and Osama Zoghlami, who set his 3000m steeplechase PB by clocking 8:14.29 at the Golden Gala in Florence.

The Italian contingent is rounded out by Sergiy Polikarpenko, who won the European U20 silver medal in the 10,000m in Grosseto in 2017, and Ahmed Ouhda, who recently set his PB on the road clocking 28:41 at the Valencia 10km Ibercaja race on 9 January.

Eliud Kipchoge targets world record at Berlin Marathon

Eliud Kipchoge insists, again, it’s not his goal, but he takes another crack at the world record at the Berlin Marathon, on Sunday.

“I just want to run my personal best, which stands at 2:03:05,” Kipchoge said Tuesday, according to Reuters, his typical pre-race mindset. “If a world record also happens, that will be good enough.”

Kipchoge, the 33-year-old Olympic champion from Kenya, is expected to challenge the 26.2-mile record of 2:02:57, set by countryman Dennis Kimetto at the 2014 Berlin Marathon.

“Eliud is going there to run for a world record,” countryman and pacer Sammy Kitwara said, according to Reuters. “He is hoping to run a world record of 2:02:40 or thereabouts.”

Kipchoge has come close to the world record in Berlin before.

In 2015, Kipchoge ran 2:04:00 to win with his soles flapping out from the backs of his shoes.

In 2017, Kipchoge won Berlin in 2:03:32, surely slowed by the weather — rain and humidity on the pancake-flat roads of the German capital.

In 2016, Kipchoge clocked his personal-best marathon of 2:03:05 in London, which makes him the third-fastest marathoner ever after Kimetto and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele (2:03:03).

But Kipchoge may be best known for clocking 2:00:25 in Nike’s sub-two-hour marathon attempt in May 2017 on a Formula 1 race track in Italy. The time wasn’t record-eligible, however, as Kipchoge had the benefit of pacers shuffling in and out and drinks being given to runners via mopeds.

Not counting the breaking-two attempt, Kipchoge has won eight straight marathons, which is the longest streak at the highest level of the event in at least 50 years. Other legends Abebe Bikila and Haile Gebrselassie‘s streaks topped out at six.

Though Kipchoge is a veteran, he may still be in his marathon prime at age 33 and in his 11th go at the distance.

Gebrselassie’s fastest marathon came at age 35 (in his ninth marathon); Bekele at 34 (in his fourth marathon) and Wilson Kipsang (the only man to break 2:04 four times) at 34 (in his 16th marathon).

Then there’s the course. The last six times the marathon world record was lowered, it happened in Berlin. Seven of the eight fastest times in history (on record-eligible courses) were recorded in Berlin in the last seven years.

Kipchoge would likely benefit from other fast runners pushing him. That could come in the form of Kipsang and Eritrean Zersenay Tadese, the half-marathon world-record holder, both in Sunday’s field.

Top U.S. marathoner Galen Rupp and four-time Olympic track champion Mo Farah are slated for the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 7. Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor defends his New York City Marathon title Nov. 4.

Source: olympics.nbcsports.com

 

Kitwara to pace for Eliud Kipchoge’s World Record Attempt

Three-time champion of the Bay to Breakers (San Francisco, USA) and the course record holder Sammy Kitwara will pace Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge in the Berlin Marathon on Sunday.

This will be the second time in a row that Kitwara will be pacing for his fellow countryman Kipchoge in the Berlin marathon.

Kitwara said he will pace for Kipchoge aiming for Olympic champion to break the world marathon record.

“Eliud is going there to run for a world record, I can assure,” the 32-year-old said at his training base in the Ngong Hills based north of Nairobi.

Kipchoge will tackle the world record in a very tough field which includes former world record holder Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang and five times world half marathon champion Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea).

“Eliud is hoping to run a world record of 2:02:40 or thereabout. We have planned to pass the halfway mark at between 61:15 to 61:20 to be able to achieve that record breaking feat,” he said.

He said Kipchoge would have broken the world marathon record in Berlin last year, when he paced for him, but unfortunately the weather conditions were too hostile as it was too rainy and windy.

Eliud Kipchoge and Wilson Kipsang to battle for Berlin Marathon title

Eliud Kipchoge is set to return to the BMW Berlin Marathon on September 16 and has a PB performance in his sights.

The Olympic champion’s best on a record-eligible course is his 2:03:05 recorded when winning the 2016 Virgin Money London Marathon.

That mark was just eight seconds off his fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto’s world record run in Berlin in 2014, though Kipchoge has of course already dipped well under that with his famous 2:00:25 from the non record-eligible Nike Breaking2 attempt in May last year.

“My preparation is entirely concentrated on the BMW Berlin Marathon on September 16,” said the 33-year-old, who is already a two-time winner in Berlin.

“I am confident I can beat my personal best on this fast course if conditions are good.”

Among those due to join him in the field are Kenya’s former world marathon record-holder Wilson Kipsang and world half-marathon record-holder Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea.

Kipchoge and Kipsang – who ran 2:03:23 in 2013 in Berlin – lined up last year with the target of breaking 2:03 as a key objective but such hopes were dashed by steady rain throughout.

Kipchoge won in difficult conditions in 2:03:32, while Kipsang dropped out.

athleticsweekly.com

$245,000 in Prize Money up for Grabs at World Half Marathon

A total prize purse of US$245,000 is on offer at the IAAF/Trinidad Alfonso World Half Marathon Championships Valencia 2018 on Saturday 24 March.

Prize money (all amounts are in US$):
Individual
1st – 30,000
2nd – 15,000
3rd – 10,000
4th – 7000
5th – 5000
6th – 3000

Teams
1st – 15,000
2nd – 12,000
3rd – 9000
4th – 7500
5th – 6000
6th – 3000

WORLD RECORD BONUS

An athlete who surpasses a world record in Valencia will be awarded a US$50,000 bonus by the IAAF.

The current ratified world records are:

Men: Zersenay Tadese (ERI) 58:23
Women (single-sex race): Lornah Kiplagat (NED) 1:06:25

The payment of all prize money is dependent upon athletes undergoing and clearing the usual anti-doping procedures.

PREVIEWS PUBLISHED

Previews of both the men’s and women’s races are now published. The statistical reference, ‘IAAF/Trinidad Alfonso World Half Marathon Championships Valencia 2018’, compiled by noted statistician Mark Butler, is also available (download | read).

Timetable:
Saturday 24 March (times are local, GMT+1)
Women’s race: 17:05
Men’s race: 17:30

World Half Icons – Geoffrey Kamworor

In the latest of our series focusing on IAAF World Half Marathon champions the spotlight falls on the man who is seeking a hat-trick of titles in Valencia (Mar 24), Kenyan star Geoffrey Kamworor.

If Geoffrey Kamworor could loosely be described as an “accidental” world half marathon champion in 2014 – more of which later – it was a nasty “accident” at the start of his successful title defence which provided the high drama two years later in Cardiff.

The long-legged Kenyan has, arguably, proved the most versatile distance runner of his generation. Besides his twin success at the biennial World Half Marathon Championships he has also scooped back-to-back World Cross Country titles, claimed 2015 world silver on the track over 10,000m and proved a formidable competitor over 42.2km as evidenced by his victory in November’s New York City Marathon.

Back in early 2014 Kamworor was fully focused on a strong showing in February’s Tokyo Marathon. Yet after stuttering to sixth in 2:07:37 he sought a fresh challenge and suddenly turned his attention to the World Half Marathon Championships just five weeks later in Copenhagen.

“To run the world half was never a part of the plan but I was not pleased with the position (in Tokyo) so that is when I looked to focus on world half,” he explains.

“After the marathon I rested for a few days and then when I returned to training I made sure the sessions were nice and easy.”

Having run a blistering 58:54 to win the RAK Half Marathon the previous year and boasting a record of four wins and two seconds from his seven previous competitive outings over the 21.1km distance he was clearly a class-act, although the burden of favouritism in the Danish capital fell on the shoulders of Eritrea’s Zersenay Tadese, the five-time world champion over the distance.

‘I ALWAYS BELIEVE IN MYSELF’

Not that Kamworor was overawed by the formidable presence of the world half marathon record holder.

“I had run 58 minutes for the half-marathon the previous year, I always believe in myself. I was focused and wanted to win,” he says of his pre-race expectations in Copenhagen.

Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor, winner of the 2014 world half marathon title in Copenhagen (Getty ImagesOn a bright spring day Kamworor took to the front after 12 kilometres, where he led a six-strong lead group containing two Kenyans, an Ethiopian and three Eritreans including Tadese.

However, by the 15-kilometre point, and thanks to a strong Kamworor surge, the lead pack had halved in size with Samuel Tsegay of Eritrea and Ethiopia’s Guye Adola the only two men in contention as Tadese dropped off the pace.

Relentlessly pushing the pace, Kamworor opened daylight on the field in the final two kilometres and could not be stopped.

“I remember dropping the rest of the field,” he recalls. “I couldn’t believe this at first, but I had to remain focused.”

He crossed the line in 59:08 –13 seconds clear of Tsegay, who edged the bronze in a tight battle with Adola with Tadese fourth– to land a maiden world senior title in what proved a huge breakthrough moment for the gregarious Kenyan.

“It really meant a lot to me as it opened so many doors in my career and motivated me to win more,” he explains. “For me, it was amazing and it made me believe anything was possible.”

QUICK RECOVERY FROM A TUMBLE AT THE START IN CARDIFF

If Tadese had been Kamworor’s main rival in 2014, it was British endurance star Mo Farah who many assumed would most likely threaten the Kenya’s grip on the title in Cardiff two years later.

Farah certainly had the passionate home support behind him in the Welsh capital but Kamworor in the intervening two years had further established himself as a consistent world-class operator by adding the World Cross Country crown to his growing CV and silver behind Farah over 10,000m at the World Championships in Beijing.

Yet the Kenyan’s bid to become the third man in history to win back-to-back World Half Marathon titles was almost over before it started after he lost his footing and slipped in the narrow starting funnel -which had become slick with the descending rain – just seconds into the race.

“It was a really bad experience for me,” he recalls. “I slipped and stayed down on the ground for about 15 seconds. I had a big crowd of athletes coming from behind and pushing me.”

Geoffrey Kamworor and Bedan Karoki at the end of the men’s race at the IAAF/Cardiff University World Half Marathon Championships Cardiff 2016. Photo: Getty ImagesHis knees badly scraped, he did, however, maintain his cool. He had lost significant ground on the leaders but within five minutes of running had found his way to the lead group.

“Once I reached the (lead) group I forgot that I had fallen down and I just focused on the race,” he explains.

With the race played out in heavy rain which worsened as the race progressed alongside buffeting winds, Kamworor sensibly adopted a pragmatic approach to the miserable weather conditions he faced that day.

“We all had to run in it, I had no option,” he says.

Significantly, Farah started drifting off the back of the lead group at 10km and by 15km – covered in a swift 41:41 – it was Kamworor running alongside his compatriot Bedan Karoki, who were locked in a two-way battle for gold as the pair worked together as part of a pre-arranged team tactic to set a blistering pace in an effort to break the field.

The duo were away and clear and it was the defending champion who launched his winning move with 2km remaining. Quickly opening up a decisive advantage he stopped the clock in 59:10 – 26 seconds clear of Karoki with Farah claiming bronze.

Taking into account Kamworor’s heavy fall coupled with the ghastly weather conditions to finish in a time just two seconds shy of what he achieved in Copenhagen two years earlier showed what he would have been capable of in more favourable circumstances.

“It was difficult for me to win after falling down, but I had to believe,” he recalls. “It was great to win the title again.”

Boasting an imposing half-marathon record of eight wins and three second places from 12 international races over the distance, the Kenyan will be the man to beat as he seeks a hat-trick of titles in Valencia later this month.

Yet the man who is coached by Patrick Sang, the former World and Olympic steeplechase silver medallist, has a simple theory as to what qualities make a good half-marathoner.

“For me it is that mix of endurance which I get from the long 40-k training sessions (training for the marathon), the speed and strength from running cross country and the pure speed from the track.”

It is a simple combination which has so far proved devastatingly effective.