Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw set a record of being the fastest woman in Africa with her remarkable victory in the Great Ethiopian Run 10 km within 30 minutes 14 seconds in Addis Ababa on Sunday (January 23).
The event was held at an altitude of 2 350m above sea level, which would not be perfect for fast times due to the low oxygen levels.
Moreover, it did not seem to bother the 22-year-old Yalemzerf Yehualaw as she broke all records that the Kenyan Sheila Chelangat made in Port Gentil, Gabon, in 2019.
Yehualaw also had carried the last race record, which was the 31:55 that she ran in 2019 to take the honours. The world half marathon bronze medallist also withdrew from the Valencia 10 km two weeks ago and thought to perform firmly.
In a planned but fast race, Yehualaw waited for 2.5 kilometres to go before she made her record-departing countrywoman Girmawit Gebregziabiher following in her wake.
In contrast, Gebregziabiher kept responding with waves of her own to try and catch Yehualaw- the result of the race finally decided when they were at 9 km. Yehualaw put in a massive surge at that point, which seems like it will break the pursuit from Gebregziabiher.
Yehualaw won from Geberegziabiher by 12 seconds only, with a fantastic time of 30:26, and another Ethiopian woman named Melknat Wedu had a time of 30:41.
The efforts of Yehualaw showed that she is capable enough to run faster at sea level.
From the men’s race, Gemechu Dida won the contest in a time of 27 minutes and 22 seconds as he beat the Getaned Molla (27:23) and Boki Diriba (27:24) in a nervous sprint finish.
It was shocking to see that the first nine runners were under 28 minutes, with just one Kenyan among the rest of the Ethiopian contenders who covered it in 27:37.