Legese, Kuma corner TSK 25K glory
Keeping alive the prerace projections Ethiopian runners proved their supremacy winning both the men’s and women’s elite races in the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K.
Birhanu Legese, his compatriot Bayelign Yegsaw and the Kenyans Eric Kiptanui and Amos Kipruto kept a tight pack till the last hair pin at the 20 km mark.
Legese switched gears in the final 400 metres to fend off compatriot Yegsaw, who was the only one chasing him. Legese finished first with a timing of 1:15.4■, Yegsaw came in at 1:15.49.
The women’s race was pretty even till the last lap with Indians L. Suriya and Sudha Singh running in the same pack with their international competitors. Suriya was leading pack for a long stretch and was just behind the eventual winner Dibaba Kuma by the 15km mark. The African runners showed their class in the last five kilometres, when they switched gears to secure podium finishes. Kuma timed 1:27.34 to finish first followed by her compatriot Ftaw Zeray (1:27.3■) and Failuna Matanga of Tanzania (1:27.45).
Avinash Sable and L. Suriya retained their crowns winning the Indian category in the men’s and women’s sections.
AMITABHA DAS SHARMA