Two out of three for Ethiopian

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  • Second title: Yigezu crosses the finish line (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

    Second title: Yigezu crosses the finish line (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Diriba Degefa Yigezu overcame the final hurdle to clinch a maiden Bermuda Marathon Weekend 10K title on Saturday for the second of his three titles at the weekend.

The Ethiopian finished runner-up in the event twice in previous years but would not be denied this time around as he comfortably led the field across the finish line in 30min 4.67sec.

“I came second place in 2014 and 2015 but this year I finally won,” an elated Yigezu said. “This course is very nice for me and I am very happy.

“I wanted to run under 30 minutes but I am happy with my time on this course.

“Here is very hilly, especially on the last mile where I did 5:20 something, which is way too slow for my pace.

“It was a very comfortable race and the weather was very nice. This is my third time to Bermuda and today’s weather was the best.

“Before it was raining but this time was very good.

“It was just right and we ran a little bit fast.”

England’s Scott Overall and Alexander Teuten rounded off the overall podium finishers in 30:18.45 and 30:23.95.

Yigezu was among a lead group that included compatriot Abu Kebede Diriba and England team-mates Overall, Teuten and Matthew Sharp that opened up a massive gap over the rest of the field by the first mile.

Diriba dropped off the lead pace at the second mile, leaving countryman Yigezu to fend for himself against the English trio.

“They were going to the same pace so it was a little bit easy for me,” Yigezu said.

The elite runner slammed his foot on the gas and surged into the lead just past the third mile in Flatts Village and gradually pulled away from his nearest rivals heading up North Shore Road.

“I took the lead after the third mile and ran like a 4:06 mile,” he added.

It became a three-horse race after Sharp dropped off the pace at mile four which had all but ended by the fifth mile with Yigezu in full control.

Yigezu made it all look so easy on the final climb up Frog Lane towards the finish line at the National Stadium while an intriguing battle for second between Teuten and Overall played itself out behind him.

Teuten led his team-mate entering the home stretch but could not hold on as Overall passed him to take second.

“I think always in the back of my mind was the hill at the end, which I was trying to save something for,” Overall said.

“I was in third place at the bottom of the hill and passed the second-placed runner [Teuten] and then I was just chasing him [Yigezu] up the hill, but he was strong today.

“I think we all kind of had the same race plan. I think we all wanted to be maybe 10-15 metres clear going into the hill because obviously you don’t really gain much going uphill.

“Everyone is pretty much running the same pace and I think he [Yigezu] had the same race plan, got about 10-15 metres on us going up the hill and that gap kind of stayed the same all the way to the finish.”

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Published Jan 14, 2017 at 12:09 pm (Updated Jan 15, 2017 at 11:59 pm)

Two out of three for Ethiopian

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