Merga and Tesema prevail in Boulogne-Billancourt Half
Provided by IAAF
Boulogne-Billancourt, France - Ejigu Sentayehu Merga took a narrow one-second victory at the 15th edition of “Semi-Marathon Christian Granger Boulogne-Billancourt”, an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race, on Sunday (20) afternoon.
The race record of 1:00:12 held by Kenyan Nicolas Manza since 2008 was not threatened, but the Ethiopian Merga was more than happy to smash his own personal best with 1:01:38 and win in a sprint finish over Estifanos Tewelde. With this runner-up finish, the Eritrean improved on his fourth place finish from 2010 and knocked one second from his personal best set at the World Half Marathon Championships last year in Nanning, China. Well behind was the rest of the field, led by third place finisher Alfred Cherop of Kenya who clocked 1:04:19, a month after having won the Nancy Half Marathon in 1:01:48.
Goitetom Haftu Tesema, as expected, completed the Ethiopian sweep and won the women's race in a lifetime best of 1:10:57 in warm and sunny conditions. Her 2:26:21 for second place in the Rome Marathon earlier this year made her the clear favourite on the Paris suburb's macadam. Yet, this was far from the race record (1:09:26 by Dado Fireiwot in 2009) but enough to beat her teammate Adhina Tsehay Desaleg (1:11:09) and Kenyan Lucy Macharia (1:11:16).
Pierre-Jean Vazel for the IAAF
1. Ejigu Sentayehu Merga (ETH) 1:01:38
2. Estifanos Tewelde (ERI) 1:01:39
3. Alfred Cherop (KEN) 1:04:19
4. Mickael Tesfay (ERI) 1:05.21
5. Ruben Iindongo (FRA) 1:07:17
1. Goitetom Haftu Tesema (ETH) 1:10.57
2. Adhina Tsehay Desaleg (ETH) 1:11:09
3. Lucy Macharia (KEN) 1:11.16
4. Ehite Gebireyes (ETH) 1:11:47
5. Amelework Fekadu Bosho (ETH) 1:12:35