- Title: ETHIOPIA: ATHLETICS - Annual "Great Ethiopian Run" held in Addis Ababa
- Date: 25th November 2008
- Summary: AYALEW RECEIVING MEDAL AND TROPHY MORE OF PARTICIPANTS DECHASA RECEIVING MEDAL AND TROPHY WINNERS AND ORGANISERS BEING PHOTOGRAPHED
- Embargoed: 10th December 2008 12:00
- Location: Ethiopia
- Country: Ethiopia
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVAF3GD43KAW0MR45NM2GHBIBBJ
- Story Text: Over 30,000 athletes take part in the annual "Great Ethiopian Run" which brings together some of the world's best long-distance runners.
Over 32,000 athletes competed in this year's edition of the "Great Ethiopian Run" which brings together some of the world's best long-distance runners.
In its 8th year, the 10-kilometre road race attracts both amateur and professional athletes.
"I am here because I have been wanting to join this run for many years but I never had the opportunity. So today I had," said Mrs. Hu Sagen, a Norwegian living in Ethiopia.
22-year-old, Chala Dechasa, emerged winner of the men's "Great Ethiopian Run". He clocked 28 minutes 55 seconds beating race favourite Deriba Merga, who set the course record in 2006.
"Previously I finished the race 8th and then 6th. Now, I am happy I have won the race," said Dechasa.
Wedu Ayalew retained her title in the women's race with a time of 33 minutes and 31 seconds.
"I am very happy and excited to win the race, though it was a very difficult race," said Ayalew.
The Great Ethiopian Run was started in 2001 by legendary Ethiopian athlete Haile Gebreselassie who has also previously won the race.
"You find the major Ethiopian athletes from the rural parts of the country. The winner today, is a new comer from the rural areas. I am very surprised at his running style. He looked as if he didn't run 10,000 meters.
He is so fresh," said Gebreselassie.
This year's competition was held under the theme: "I am Running for a Child," highlighting the work of organisations helping orphans and vulnerable children in Addis Ababa.
However, the race was dampened by reports of terrorist threats in Addis Ababa prompting the U.S. and Dutch governments to advise their citizens against participating.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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