Yalemzerf Yehualaw and Hailemaryam Kiros were victorious over 15km in Addis Ababa on Wednesday (23) in a race that Ethiopian Athletics will use as a form guide when selecting its team for the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020.

African Games Half Marathon champion Yehualaw, like many athletes in this race, hadn’t competed for several months because of the pandemic. Before today, her most recent races were back in February and March when she clocked a road 5km PB of 15:27 and ran 1:06:35 to finish fifth at the Ras al Khaimah Half Marathon.

The 21-year-old clearly hasn’t lost any form since then, however, and she held off world half marathon champion Netsanet Gudeta to win in 50:15. Gudeta was a close second in 50:18.

Zeineba Yimer, who hadn’t raced since clocking 2:19:46 on her marathon debut in Valencia in December last year, finished third in 50:30, nine seconds ahead of Ababel Yeshaneh, who earlier this year set a world half marathon record of 1:04:31.

Hailemaryam Kiros, the African U18 steeplechase silver medallist back in 2013, was a surprise winner of the men’s race. He crossed the line in 42:59 to finish four seconds ahead of runner-up Andamlak Belihu, the two-time Delhi Half Marathon winner and World Championships 10,000m fifth-place finisher.

Amedework Walelegn, the 2017 world U20 cross-country silver medallist, finished just a stride behind Belihu and was given the same time for third place. Tokyo Marathon champion Birhanu Legese and 2017 Berlin Marathon runner-up Guye Adola were next to finish, clocking 43:20 and 43:36 respectively.

Leading results

Men
1 Hailemaryam Kiros 42:59
2 Andamlak Belihu 43:03
3 Amedework Walelegn 43:03
4 Birhanu Legese 43:20
5 Guye Adola 43:36
6 Leul Gebresilase 44:12

Women
1 Yalemzerf Yehualaw 50:15
2 Netsanet Gudeta 50:18
3 Zeineba Yimer 50:30
4 Ababel Yeshaneh 50:39
5 Sisay Meseret Gola 51:00
6 Medhin Beyene 51:15

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