Eritrean athlete Teklemariam Medhin displayed his excellence and domination at the 2nd CAA African Cross Country Championships that was held on Sunday (18) in Cape Town, South Africa, where athletes from 19 countries competed.
Teklemariam Medhin is one of the Eritreans that was expected to be a thorn in the flesh of team South Africa. With 6 World Championships in Cross Country behind his name (two as junior athlete in 2006 and 2007 in Fukuoka and Kenya) his experience will go a long way to assist his team in running for a team prize.
He also helped his team finish 4th at the 2011 World Championships in Spain by finishing 14th overall. In 2010 at the World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz Medhin won the silver medal. In 2008 he represented Eritrea in Edinburgh, 2009 in Amman.
For the initial laps of Senior men’s 12km, a massive group of around 40 runners created with Kenyan Clement Langat leading the field through 2km in five minutes 55 seconds before dropping back in the pack for subsequent laps.
The Kenyan, Eritrean and Ethiopian teams asked and gave no quarter on the natural undulations and varied terrain of the park as Langat temporarily eased off the gas for the second lap.
As expected, Teklemariam Medhin of Eritrea was a major player injecting an increase in pace during the fourth lap to take the race through 8km in 23:57.
The Eritrean athlete used his experience to keep the lead through to the final lap where he and Langat had opened a small but critical lead on the field.
Ethiopian Atsedu Tesfay throughout was followed in close procession by Timothy Kiptoo and Vincent Chepkok, both Kenyans.
The screws gradually tightened as the duo sprinted towards the line with Langat easing a 30 meter advantage to finish the 12km race in 35:43 to win gold followed by Eritrea’s strong runner Teklemariam Medhin in 35:50 silver and Ethiopian Atsede Tesfay in 36:14 bronze.
As expected, the usual suspects, Ethiopia and Kenya, looted almost all the medals in Cape Town with Eritrea winning the remainder.
Accordingly, Eritrea emerged as second place winner in overall team ranking ahead of Ethiopia. The host country, team South Africa, ended the continental cross country championships empty-handed.
In the women’s senior race, it was Kenya all the way in terms of the medals with three seconds separating the top three: Joyce Chepkirui got gold in 27.04, followed by Margaret Muriuki a second later and Emily Chebet in 27.06.
1. C. Langat (Ken) 35:43
2. T. Medhin (Eri) 35: 50
3. A.Tesfay (Eth) 36: 14
1. Kenya 02:26:11
2. Eritrea 02:27:47
3. Ethiopia 02:27:53
4. Rwanda 02:31:50
5. South Africa 02:32:11
6. Uganda 02:32:26
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