Ethiopian sensation Kejelcha dominates Spain, claims third-fastest 10km time


In a display of sheer dominance and remarkable athleticism, Ethiopian long-distance runner Yomif Kejelcha set the track ablaze with a scintillating performance at the World Athletics Label event held in Laredo, Spain.

Kejelcha’s breathtaking run in the men’s 10,000 meters left spectators in awe as he crossed the finish line in a staggering time of 26 minutes and 37 seconds, marking the third-fastest men’s 10km time ever recorded.

Racing under ideal weather conditions on a windless afternoon, Kejelcha showcased his prowess right from the start, setting a blistering pace alongside fellow Ethiopian Addisu Yihune, the reigning world U20 5000m champion.

The duo surged ahead, leaving their competitors trailing behind as they maintained a steady tempo needed to challenge the world best.

As the race progressed, Kejelcha’s determination and unwavering focus propelled him forward, gradually widening the gap between himself and the rest of the field.

By the third kilometer, he had established a commanding lead, leaving Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, the world 5000m and 10,000m record-holder, struggling to keep up.

Despite a valiant effort to maintain his blistering pace, Kejelcha faced challenges in the latter stages of the race, experiencing discomfort in his hip around the eighth kilometer. However, undeterred by the physical strain, he pressed on, crossing the halfway mark in a promising 13 minutes and 10 seconds.

As the race reached its climax, Kejelcha unleashed a final burst of speed, pushing himself to the limit in pursuit of the world record. Despite falling short of the coveted mark by a mere 13 seconds, his remarkable performance solidified his status as one of the world’s premier long-distance runners.

In a display of sportsmanship and camaraderie, Cheptegei, the Olympic 5000m champion, commended Kejelcha’s performance and expressed his satisfaction at achieving the Olympic 10,000m standard of 27 minutes.

His gracious acknowledgment of Kejelcha’s feat exemplified the spirit of competition and mutual respect among athletes.

Kenya’s Purity Gitonga celebrates after crossing the line second. PHOTO: X

Kenya’s Gotonga impresses as German dominates women’s race

Meanwhile, in the women’s event, Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen emerged as the favorite, aiming to bounce back from a recent setback and secure the qualifying time for the 10,000m at the Paris Olympics.

Running in a group alongside male athletes, the 27-year-old started at a brisk pace and covered the opening kilometres at a tempo of around 3:00 per kilometre to go through halfway in 15:07, well on schedule for her target.

Despite facing challenges in the latter stages of the race, Klosterhalfen delivered a commendable performance, setting a personal best time of 31 minutes and 7 seconds.

Kenya’s Purity Gitonga and Spain’s Irene Sanchez-Escribano showcased their talent and determination, finishing as runners-up in the fiercely contested women’s race.

Their impressive performances added to the excitement of the event, highlighting the depth of talent among female long-distance runners.

As the dust settled on an exhilarating day of racing in Laredo, spectators were left in awe of the incredible feats achieved by athletes from around the world.

Kejelcha’s record-breaking run and Klosterhalfen’s resilience served as a testament to the indomitable spirit of human endeavor and the pursuit of excellence in athletics.

The event, beyond the individual stories of triumph and determination, was a celebration of athletic spirit and international camaraderie. Athletes from diverse backgrounds came together, sharing the track in a mutual quest for excellence.

The post-race interactions, filled with congratulatory embraces and exchanges of national flags, painted a vivid picture of the uniting power of sports. It was a reminder that beyond the fierce competition, respect and friendship often flourish.

The World Athletics Label event in Laredo not only provided a platform for breaking records but also served as a prelude to the upcoming Paris Olympics. The performances of Kejelcha, Klosterhalfen, and their peers sent ripples through the athletic community, setting the stage for what promises to be an unforgettable Olympic showdown.


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