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Teferi shows awesome form

Teferi shows awesome form

Ethiopia’s Senberi Teferi captured an outstanding victory at the 35th Cross Internacional de Itálica in Santiponce, near the Spanish city of Seville, the fifth leg of this season’s IAAF Cross Country Permit series on Sunday (15).

Held on a pleasant and dry afternoon with the temperature about 12C, the men’s 10.8km didn’t start particularly fast as a large pack covered the opening two kilometers in 6:18.

Portugal’s 2008 European cross-country bronze medallist Ines Monteiro led during the early stages of the women’s 8.1km race. The 36-year-old is making a promising return to form after a long maternity leave and her brisk pace was too much for all of her rivals, apart from Bahrain’s Olympic steeplechase champion Ruth Jebet, Ethiopia’s world cross-country silver medallist Senbere Teferi and Spain’s Trihas Gebre.

Jebet took command of the race after the second kilometer. By the half-way point she had just Teferi for company as Monteiro and Gebre trailed some 20 seconds behind.

Teferi upped the pace about 13 minutes into the race, which proved to be too fast for Jebet and she had an 11-second lead going into the final lap. Gebre and Monteiro, meanwhile, were another 16 seconds adrift.

After successive laps of 6:45 and 6:34, Teferi’s significant lead over Jebet meant that she could afford to ease down during the closing kilometer and the world 5000m silver medallist went on to win by 13 seconds in 25:52.

Jebet finished second, while Monteiro was third, more than 90 seconds behind the winner. Gebre faltered dramatically in the closing stages and lost the honour of being first Spaniard home as 1500m specialist Ana Lozano came through to take fourth place in 27:38.

“Today’s race is my second win in this season’s IAAF Cross Country Permit series after my victory in Atapuerca,” said Teferi, who will once again line up against Jebet in Elgoibar next weekend.

Emeterio Valiente for the IAAF

LEADING RESULTS

Men (10.8km)
1 Aweke Ayalew (BRN) 31:36
2  Teklemariam Medhin (ERI) 31:42
3 Tafese Soboka (ETH) 31:44
4  El Hassan El Habbassi (BRN) 31:49
5 Leonard Komon (KEN) 31:53
6 Ilias Fifa (ESP) 31:56
7 Adel Mechaal (ESP) 32:02
8 Javier Guerra (ESP) 32:13
9 Toni Abadía (ESP) 32:28
10 Rabah Aboud (ALG) 32:31

Women (8.1km)
1 Senbere Teferi (ETH) 25:52
2 Ruth Jebet (BRN) 26:05
3 Ines Monteiro (POR) 27:29
4 Ana Lozano (ESP) 27:38
5 Trihas Gebre (ESP) 27:43
6 Gema Martín (ESP) 27:50
7 Nuria Fernández (ESP) 28:00
8 Azucena Díaz (ESP) 28:03
9 Jacqueline Martín (ESP) 28:06
10 Carolina Robles (ESP) 28:15