Haile Gebrselassie wins third 10k title in Manchester

Haile Gebrselassie Manchester Win
Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie produced a strong finish to claim his third title in the Great Manchester Run on Sunday.

BBC

Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie produced a strong finish to claim his third title in the Great Manchester Run on Sunday.

The 37-year-old, who has won two Olympic and four World gold medals, clocked 28 minutes two seconds, just over a minute behind the world record.

Spaniard Ayad Lamdessem pushed hard until the last stretch to get second and Ukrainian Sergiy Lebid was third.

Werknesh Kidane won the women’s race with Britain’s Jo Pavey, eight months after giving birth, in fifth spot.

Gebrselassie had been hoping to beat the record of 27 mins and one second set by Kenyan Micah Kogo in 2009, but weather conditions were not favourable on the streets of Manchester on Sunday.

Lebid, European cross country gold medallist, looked the most likely to provide an upset halfway through the race but as his efforts dwindled, it was left for Lamdessem, a former Moroccan now representing Spain, to battle alone with Gebrselassie in the final two kilometres.

Despite not being able to better the world mark, Gebrselassie was delighted to have overcome the testing conditions in front of thousands of cheering fans.

“It was tough,” the world marathon record holder told BBC Sport. “When I warmed up, it was cold. I didn’t feel good and it was very tough and windy. But the atmosphere was fantastic. It’s always a great event.

“I thought I might have gone much faster but the conditions weren’t helping me. But this was an important win and I feel there is more to come in the future.”

The highest finishing Briton was Mark Warmby in sixth, while triathlon veteran Tim Don produced a stunning run to finish one place behind his compatriot.

“I was in good form, I ran a personal best,” the 32-year-old said, who is eyeing Olympic success in London in two years. “I’m over the moon and it’s all looking good.”

In the women’s event, Ethiopia’s Kidane, world silver medallist in 2003 and a winner of 21 world cross country medals, won in 31 mins, 19s, comfortably ahead of Portuguese pair of Jessica Augusto and Ines Monteiro.

The 36-year-old Pavey, who gave birth to her son Jacob last September, struggled in fifth and was unable to pick up her third title in Manchester having impressed with a runner-up spot in last month’s Great Ireland Run.

In only her second race since giving birth and her first in the UK, the Commonwealth silver medallist struggled before the halfway point of the 10km race and slowly drifted away from the leading pack.

“I didn’t run well,” she said. “I’m disappointed because I trained hard. It’s nice to be back running though. I just wish I could have done well with Jacob watching!”

Pavey’s main aim this summer remains qualifying for the European Championships over 10,000m and will return to action in Ostrava on 27 May.

Britons David Weir and Shelly Woods were both victorious in the men’s and women’s wheelchair races.

Weir won for a fourth occasion in 22min from Mark Telford and Brian Alldis, while Woods clocked 25min 15sec, finishing over seven minutes quicker than Hannah Cockroft and Kenyan-born Anne Strike.