Belgium’s Bashir Abdi continued his recent good form by taking an excellent end-of-season victory at the prestigious San Silvestre Vallecana 10K in Madrid on New Year’s Eve (31).
Abdi clocked 27:47 on the downhill course which finishes in the Vallecas Stadium to beat Uganda’s Mande Bushendich by four seconds. In doing so, Abdi became the first European winner of the men’s race since Spain’s Chema Martinez in 2003. There was home success to celebrate sixteen years later as Antonio Abadia finished third in 27:56.
Abdi has enjoyed an excellent autumn season on the roads which included a 2:06:14 clocking in the Chicago Marathon to move to third on the European all-time list but the 30-year-old has even faster times in his sights.
“This year I have broken the Belgian record twice [2:07:03 in London and 2:06:14 in Chicago] and I would like to get close to the European record of 2:04:16 in some of my next outings over the distance,” Abdi told World Athletics.
Abdi’s next race is the Egmond Half Marathon on 12 January which he will use as part of his preparation for the Tokyo Marathon on 1 March.
Swiss-based Ethiopian Helen Bekele Tola won the women’s race in 30:50 ahead of world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich from Kenya in 30:57 with Portugal’s Carla Salome Rocha - who won a team bronze medal at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships last month - third in 31:52.
Faniel beats sub-13:00 5000m performer Bekele in Bolzano
Italy’s Eyob Gebrhiwet Faniel took arguably the best win of his career thus far at the BoClassic in Bolzano on New Year’s Eve, winning the 10km in 28:21 ahead of Ethiopia’s world 5000m fourth-placer Telahun Haile Bekele in 28:37.
“I knew that I could run a good race but I was not sure that I would be able to win against such great athletes. I am now training hard in preparation for the Seville Marathon in February,” Faniel told World Athletics.
Four-time European cross country champion Yasemin Can from Turkey won the We Run Rome 10K in 32:17 ahead of Ukraine’s Sofia Yaremchuk in 32:35 while Italy’s former European marathon champion Daniele Meucci finished second in the men’s race in 29:44.
There was also European success at the Trier Silvesterlauf with Belgium’s Isaac Kimeli beating Germany’s Amanal Petros over 8km - 22:44 to 22:45 - while Katharina Steinruck (formerly Heinig) won the women’s 6km in 16:10 by one second from Elena Burkard. World 3000m steeplechase bronze medallist Gesa Felicitas Krause was fourth in 16:22.
Improving Serbian middle distance runner Elzan Bibic also won the Peuerbach Silvesterlauf over 6.8km in 18:29 ahead of Kenyans Robert Keter (18:32) and Davis Kiplangat (18:40).