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Diro, Ayalew prevail in Venta

Diro, Ayalew prevail in Venta

Two-time Olympic steeplechase finalist Etenesh Diro from Ethiopia forged out a narrow victory in the senior women’s 7.57km at the 37th edition of the Cross Internacional Venta de Banos on Sunday.

Diro, who also lowered her 5000m PB to 14:33.30 last summer, clocked 30:35 to defeat Ethiopian-born Trihas Gebre --who lives in Bilbao and has represented Spain since 2014-- by five seconds with veteran marathon-runner Alessandra Aguilar third in 30:50.

In the senior men’s 10.577km, Bahrain’s Aweke Ayalew became the first runner since Ethiopia’s Sileshi Sihine in 2003 to claim back-to-back titles in this race. Ayalew clocked 32:42 to defeat Kenya’s Jairus Birech (33:04) with Javier Guerra the top domestic finisher in third (33:22) ahead of European 10,000m bronze medallist Antonio Abadia (33:31).

In gruelling conditions where the athletes had to contend with ankle-deep mud at some points on the course, Olympic 3000m steeplechase finalist Yemane Haileselassie, 18, became the first Eritrean winner of the Cross Nacional Fiestas de la Virgen in Yecla since 2010 with victory in the senior men’s 10km in 30:45.

Carlos Mayo claimed back-to-back silver medals in the under-23 race in Chia last weekend and the 21-year-old defeated a strong domestic line-up for the runner-up spot, including European 5000m champion Ilias Fifa and silver medallist Adel Mechaal who finished third and fifth respectively.

Tania Carretaro won the women’s senior 8km in 28:40 ahead of Carolina Robles.

Courtesy of IAAF