Hagos, Letesenbet, Lemecha shine in Henglo


Twelve days after his lap-counting error in the 5000m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Lausanne, Hagos Gebrhiwet made no mistake in Hengelo on Wednesday, winning the men’s 10,000m in a world-leading 26:48.95. The women’s 10,000m, won by Letesenbet Gidey, was of a similarly high standard with the first 10 women – nine of whom are from Ethiopia. Previously unheralded Lemecha Girma made a huge breakthrough to win the men’s 3000m steeplechase in 8:08.18, winning by six seconds and moving to fourth on the Ethiopian all-time list. World U20 champion Diribe Welteji won the women’s 800m in 2:00.51.
The races doubled as the official Ethiopian trial races for the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019. And, based on tonight’s results, Ethiopia will field two strong trios for the men’s and women’s 10,000m in Doha.
When Yomif Kejelcha made his move at the bell and started his 400-metre kick for home, Solomon and Hagos went with him and moved past him with half a lap remaining. The two kicked hard down the final straight but Hagos proved to be the stronger in the closing stages, winning in 26:48.95. Solomon Barega, competing in just his second 10,000m race, finished second in 26:49.46, moving to second on the world U20 all-time list. Yomif Kejelcha was third in 26:49.99, the second-fastest debut 10,000m in history behind Eliud Kipchoge’s 26:49.02.
Like the top finishers in the men’s race, Letsenbet Gidey bided her time in the women’s contest before making a move in the final kilometer.
Letesenbet’s superior speed enabled her to pull away from her compatriot over the final 300 meters and she went on to win in a lifetime best of 30:37.89. Nestanet followed three seconds later in 30:40.85. Senbere was third in 30:45.14 with Zeineba Yimer taking fourth place in 30:46.24.