Ethiopian men sweep 10,000-meter race at African Championships

April 30th, 2008 | by addis portal |

(Associated Press) — ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Ethiopia swept the men’s 10,000-meter race Wednesday on the opening day of the African Athletics Championships.

Gebregziabher Gebremariam won in 28 minutes, 17 seconds after pulling away from the pack halfway through the race. Junior champion Ibrahim Jeylan finished second, and national champion Eshetu Wondimu was third.

The three Ethiopians linked arms after the race for a victory lap in front of about 25,000 fans.

Olympic champion and world record holder Kenenisa Bekele withdrew from the race earlier Wednesday for unspecified reasons.

“I will not run it,” Bekele told The Associated Press. “I can’t answer for you by telephone. It’s very difficult.”

Bekele’s withdrawal is not expected to affect his chances of running at this year’s Beijing Olympics.

Haile Gebrselassie, the former world record holder and two-time Olympic champion in the 10,000, was not selected to Ethiopia’s team for the event. But Gebrselassie is still hoping to run the 10,000 in Beijing after pulling out of the Olympic marathon.

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