From: Biniam Tekle (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Jan 26 2009 - 09:10:55 EST
Monday, 26 January 2009
Medhin and Kalovics impress over the country in San Sebastián [image:
Eritrea's Teklemarian Medhin wins in San Sebastián, Spain (Mertxe
*Eritrea's Teklemarian Medhin wins in San Sebastián, Spain* (Mertxe Sueskun)
San Sebastián, Spain - Eritrea's Teklemarian Medhin and Hungary's Aniko
Kalovics snatched unchallenged victories at the '54th Cross Internacional
de San Sebastián' held on Sunday (25) on a windy and rainy day for weather.
*MEN – Medhin, a star in the making?*
In the men's 10km event Kenya's Micah Kogo was regarded the pre-race
favourite as the reigning Olympic 10,000m bronze medallist had already
proved to be in fine form this winter following a hat trick of successes in
Houilles (28 December), Trier (31 Dec) and more recently in Le Mans (18
With rain, and wind gusts of over 100km per hour, the race kicked off
conservatively at the 7km point a large group of seven athletes were still
in contention - the Kenyan pair of Kogo and last year's victor Kiprono
Menjo, Ukraine's Sergey Lebid, the Spanish trio of Carlos Castillejo, José
Ríos and Iván Galán, and the 19-year-old Medhin. The Eritrean was fresh from
a respectable seventh place at the IAAF XC permit in Seville last Sunday
(18) against one of the high quality cross country fields assembled this
Ríos and Castillejo made most of the pace but the Africans and Lebid ran
effortlessly at their shoulders.
Medhin, who is coached in Madrid by Jerónimo Bravo, made his move with 22
minutes on the clock and from then on he startled a knowledgeable crowd
which over the decades have witnessed performances here from legends such as
Mamo Wolde, David Bedford, John Ngugi and Derartu Tulu.
Such was the terrific pace dictated by Medhin that not even the in-form Kogo
managed to stay touch with the gifted Eritrean, who extended his lead over
the closing three kilometres.
Kogo, Menjo and Lebid formed the chasing group with Kogo making the pace
duties but with one kilometre left Lebid faltered and lost ground with the
While the long-legged Medhin, who won the Fuensalida XC race on 11 January,
ran smoothly at the front, the interest turned to the fierce battle for the
minor places between Kogo and Menjo with the former prevailing thanks to a
late burst of speed with 150m to go.
Medhin was timed at 31:47 with a six-second margin of victory on Kogo,
holder of an impressive 10,000m track PB of 26:35.63, while the 'defending
champion' Menjo had to settle for third on this occasion another five second
The efforts of the eight-time European XC champion Lebid were not enough to
challenge for a podium place although he bounced back from last year's below
par performance when he suffered fever and was never a factor at all in the
race. The 33-year-old Ukrainian took fourth on this occasion some 17 seconds
behind the winner but still 20 seconds ahead Spain's former European 10,000m
bronze medallist José Ríos, who completed a classy top-five.
*WOMEN – Kalovics overcomes all barriers to succeed*
The women's 5.8km contest offered an interesting clash between some top
Europeans such as Hungary's Aniko Kalovics plus the Spanish duo of 2007
European XC champion Marta Domínguez and Rosa Morató, who claimed bronze on
that occasion, who were up against Kenya's Olympic 3000m Steeplechase silver
medallist Eunice Jepkorir and Morocco's Soud Kambouchia, a 28th finisher at
last year's World XC championships in Edinburgh.
Kalovics's first success was to be able to get to San Sebastian on time. The
31-year-old Hungarian had been scheduled to travel to Spain via Nice but she
lost her connection there due to the very bad weather throughout a large
part of South Europe over the weekend. However, Kalovics was determined to
perform on Sunday and so she decided to travel by car to reach San Sebastián
as late as 2am of the event's day.
Unlike in the men's race, Kalovics, an accomplished performer over muddy
surfaces, killed the event as a competition right from the gun and gave no
options to her opponents by setting a hot pace which simply could not be
matched by any other athlete.
With the clock reading eight minutes Kalovics had already built a sizeable
margin of 12 seconds over a six-athlete chasing group which was headed by
Eritrea's Fortuna Zegerghis and Domínguez but soon that pack decreased to
three units in the guise of the Spaniard, Kambouchia and Jepkorir.
By then the tireless Kalovics kept on her solo run and maintained a
comfortable advantage of 80m over her pursuers. Over the final lap it was
the Spain-based Kambouchia who pushed hard and managed to leave top
steeplechasers Domínguez and Jepkorir way back.
At the finish line Kalovics's winning margin was 11 seconds on Kambouchia,
herself another 9 seconds clear of Domínguez, who kept last year's victor
Jepkorir at bay to claim the minor place on the podium.
It has been a busy January for Kalovics, who clinched top spot in San
Giorgio Su Legnano (EA permit) on 6 January before taking runner-up position
in Elgoibar (11 Jan) and a 6th place in Seville (IAAF permit) last 18
*Emeterio Valiente for the IAAF *
1. Teklemarian Medhin (Eritrea) 31:47
2. Micah Kogo (Kenya) 31:53
3. Kiprono Menjo (Kenya) 31:58
4. Sergey Lebid (Ukraine) 32:04
5. José Ríos (Spain) 32:27
6. Carlos Castillejo (Spain) 32:37
7. Iván Galán (Spain) 32:44
8. Javier Crespo (Spain) 33:24
9. Manuel Hurtado (Spain) 33:38
10. Vicente Capitán (Spain) 33:42
1. Aniko Kalovics (Hungary) 18:45
2. Soud Kambouchia (Morocco) 18:56
3. Marta Domínguez (Spain) 19:05
4. Eunice Jepkorir (Kenya) 19:11
5. Fortuna Zegerghis (Eritrea) 19:17
6. Rosa Morató (Spain) 19:21
7. Tatiana Holovchenko (Ukraine) 19:22
8. Judit Plá (Spain) 19:36
9. Gema Barrachina (Spain) 19:49
10. Elena Moreno (Spain) 20:43
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