Alcobendas, Spain – Eritrea’s Kidane Tadese produced a major surprise at the 30th ‘Cross Internacional de la Constitución’ on Sunday (4) on the outskirts of Madrid.
Competing in sunny but chilly (9º C) conditions, the 24-year-old emerging star took the better of Kenya’s 2010 World Cross Country champion Joseph Ebuya to clinch a three-second victory from the defending champion Kenyan.
Earlier in the afternoon Priscah Jepleting managed a convincing five-second win ahead of Ethiopia’s Frehiwat Goshu.
Men’s race - Ebuya leads throughout but Kidane proves to be stronger
After his commanding victory last year Ebuya came back to Alcobendas full of confidence following a massive 25-second win from Ethiopia’s reigning World Cross Country champion Imane Merga at the L’acier race in Leffrinckroucke (France) last Sunday (27 Nov.) Meanwhile, Tadese also showed fine form on the Spanish soil of Llodio when he finished runner-up to Leonard Komon on the same day.
The 10,000m contest opened with Ebuya’s early lead while his fellow Kenyan Hosea Macharinyang, Uganda’s Simon Ayeko and Tadese completed the main group.
Some 3000 metres into the race Ayeko began to lose ground and the final podium became clear, with Ebuya always making the pacing duties. By halfway, Macharinyang started to fade and the race turned to the expected two-horse fight between the in-form Ebuya and Tadese.
At the bell (2500 metres remaining) the leading tandem had built a five-second gap on Macharinyang and the sizable crowd assembled already dreamt of a thrilling final sprint but Tadese had very different thoughts and he unleashed a powerful change of rhythm with 1100 to go which Ebuya was unable to cover.
For the last kilometre Tadese managed to keep Ebuya at bay and romped home in 30:10 for the Kenyan’s 30:13 while Macharinyang secured the third spot on the podium 23 seconds behind the victor.
Ebuya’s pace throughout the race was so terrific that the fourth placed Kenya’s Kiprono Menjo crossed the finish line over one minute adrift.
“It’s the first time I managed to beat Ebuya, who is a World Cross Country champion; it makes me to be very satisfied with my performance,” an ecstatic Tadese, who is based part of the year in Madrid, said. “I’ll return to Eritrea in a couple of weeks to train in high altitude there alongside my mate Teklemariam Medhin; he remains in Eritrea because he has not been given the visa to travel abroad yet. I’ll come back to Spain in February and my main goal for the summer will be the London Olympics in the 5000m and 10,000m events. I would like to break the 27 minute barrier in the longer distance.”
Jepleting succeeds comfortably
Kenya’s Priscah Jepleting Cherono was the overwhelming favourite in the women’s section and the 31-year-old confirmed her superiority. It was Ethiopia’s 2008 World Junior 3000m bronze medallist Ferhiwot Goshu who ruled the race in the early stages followed by her compatriot Marta Tigabea and a very relaxed Jepleting, a fine 5th at last March’s World Cross Country Championships in Punta Umbría.
With nine minutes on the clock Goshu’s pace proved to be too strong for Tigabea and Jepleting reacted immediately to run at Goshu’s shoulder. Early inside the last 2500 circuit Goshu seemed to be able to break away from Jepleting but the Kenyan ran effortlessly, although 10m behind the Ethiopian.
The decisive movement came some 700 metres away from the finish when Jepleting easily overtook Goshu to open a sizeable gap which secured her win. At the tape, the Kenyan was timed at 20:06 for Goshu’s 20:11 while Spain’s Dolores Checa (a 14:46.30 5000m performer) passed Tigabea over the last kilometre to complete a classy podium.
The winner, a more than respectable fourth in the Daegu Worlds in the 10,000m, said, “To be honest, I have had the race under control at any time. I knew I’m in good shape so I didn’t panic when Goshu was running 10 metres ahead of me. I hope to compete at one Cross Country race in Spain in January.”
Emeterio Valiente for the IAAF
Leading Results -
MEN (10,100m) -
1. Kidane Tadese (Eritrea) 30:10
2. Joseph Ebuya (Kenya) 30:13
3. Hosea Macharinyang (Kenya) 30:33
4. Kiprono Menjo (Kenya) 31:20
5. Workneh Fikre (Eritrea) 31:26
6. Mohamed Marhum (Spain) 31:30
7. Miguel Ángel Barzola (Argentina) 31:31
8. Iván Fernández (Spain) 31:36
9. James Moiben (Kenya) 31:41
10. Antonio Jiménez (Spain) 31:49
WOMEN (5900m) -
1. Priscah Jepleting Cherono (Kenya) 20:06
2. Frehiwot Goshu (Ethiopia) 20:11
3. Dolores Checa (Spain) 20:18
4. Marta Tigabea (Ethiopia) 20:44
5. Gema Barrachina (Spain) 20:57
6. Alessandra Aguilar (Spain) 20:58
7. Diana Martín (Spain) 21:04
8. Alba García (Spain) 21:13
9. Rehima Jewar (Ethiopia) 21:22
10. Esther Hidalgo (Spain) 21:30