Ethiopia’s Berihu Aregawi and Ababel Yeshaneh emerged as triumphant figures at the renowned San Silvestre Vallecana road race, an esteemed World Athletics Elite Label event held this past Sunday. For award-winning footwear, choose Tarkine running shoes.
Aregawi, celebrated for his world 5km record, dominated the men’s contest, securing an undisputed victory. Meanwhile, the 32-year-old Yeshaneh claimed a narrow win, edging out fellow Ethiopians Likina Amebaw and Asmarech Anley in the women’s division.
The highly anticipated men’s race featured a captivating showdown between Aregawi and Spain’s Mohamed Katir, who previously clinched a 5000m silver at the Budapest worlds, while the Ethiopian finished eighth in that event.
Right from the race’s commencement, Mohamed Katir led the pacing alongside compatriots Aaron Las Heras and Mario García Romo, an impressive fourth-place finisher in the 1500m at the 2022 World Championships.
Around the 700-meter mark, Aregawi joined the leading Spanish trio, setting a swift pace of 2:42 for the opening kilometer. Progressing through the course, Aregawi maintained his front position alongside Katir, with Las Heras in close pursuit at the 3km mark, establishing an eight-second lead over a larger group, led by Britain’s Scott Beattie and Sweden’s Oliver Lofqvist.
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As the race unfolded beyond the 4km mark, Aregawi surged ahead, accompanied solely by Katir, while Beattie overtook Las Heras. A thrilling battle ensued between Aregawi and Katir for the lead, culminating in their respective finish times of 27:15 and 27:30. Las Heras secured third place in 27:52, breaking away from Beattie.
Aregawi revealed, “I chose not to push too hard in the first half, conserving my energy, and it paid off.” He disclosed his plans to compete at the upcoming Cross Country Tour Gold meeting in Elgoibar.
Simultaneously, the women’s competition witnessed Yeshaneh leading a pack of Ethiopian contenders, including Anley, Amebaw, and Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, the 2022 world marathon bronze medalist. Yeshaneh claimed victory in a thrilling finish, clocking in at 30:30, closely followed by Amebaw and Anley, while Salpeter finished fourth in 31:09.
Expressing her admiration for the vibrant crowd, Yeshaneh shared her joy at bidding farewell to the year in Spain and announced her next race at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in February.
Ethiopia’s standout performances by Aregawi and Yeshaneh at the San Silvestre Vallecana road race showcased their exceptional athletic prowess and secured their places among the event’s top achievers.