Ethiopian Medina Eisa sets World U-20 best in Herzegovina


Medina Eisa narrowly denied her compatriot Senbere Teferi a third consecutive women’s 5km victory in Herzogenaurach as she sprinted to a world U20 best of 14:46 to beat her rival in a photo finish.
Further demonstrating her versatility, 18-year-old Eisa adds this latest victory on the roads to a CV that already includes a world U20 5000m win on the track in Cali last year and a second place finish in the U20 race at the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst in February.
Senbere, who set the women-only world record of 14:29 at this event in 2021, made a move in the second half of the race, but her compatriots Eisa and Germawit Gebrzihair were ready to respond.
The defending champion sprinted towards the finish line and raised her arms in anticipation, but Eisa had chased her down and made it to the tape first, breaking it in 14:46.
Germawit finished two seconds behind them, while Lemlem Nibret was fourth in 14:57 and Yalemget Yaregal fifth in 15:00 in an Ethiopian top five.
There was also a close finish in the men’s 5km as Ethiopia’s long-time leader Yomif Kejelcha was surprised by Bahrain’s Birhanu Balew in the final strides and had to settle for second place this time, after his win in Herzogenaurach last year.
Another rising talent won the men’s half marathon, 20-year-old Tadese Takele surging away from his rivals over the final kilometer to win in 1:00:04.
Waving to the crowds and celebrating on his way to the finish line, Takele went from fifth in this event last year – when he set his PB of 59:41 – to first, winning by three seconds ahead of Kenya’s Josphat Chumo and Roncer Kipkorir.