In a beautiful day, Ethiopians Abebe Dinkesa (in the picture) crossed finish line in 42.21, to win the men’s race and become African Champion 2010. He won this race for the second time after his victory on 2008, which he ran in 41.45 which is till today record of the race.
Second in the race and silver medalist in the African Championships was Fidaku Awash, Ethiopian too: he was the winner of the race in 2009 and in 2007 (and he was third in 2008). The best Kenyan John Sompol Mnangat arrived third, taking bronze medal in the African Championships. All the first three finished under 43 minutes.
Very close was the African Team Championships 2010 where Uganda (formed by Geoffrey Kusoro, fourth, Macdonard Ondara, fifth, Martin Torotich and Dickson Huru) won gold medal with 16 points, ahead of Kenya (silver) and Ethiopia (bronze) both with 17 points, divided for the placement by the best third scorer. In fourth position host Country, Nigeria, in front of Cameroon, fifth. Finished with non complete team Egypt (one runner of the team had problem with visa and was not able to start) and Tanzania, Nation which was present for the first time to an International Mountain Running event.
In the women race, winner Meselech M. Haileyesus, Ethiopian, (in the picture) fixed the new record of the competition in 48.57, conquering also African Champion title. She defeated another Ethiopian, Daska Mamitu, winner of the race last year, who arrived second in the race and silver medalist in the African Championships in 49.04, just a few second behind Haileyesus. The race was completely dominated by Ethiopian runners: six in the first seven positions. The better extra-Ethiopian runners, was Mary Xwaymay Naali, Tanzanian, who crossed finish line in sixth place. Ahead Kenyan, Nigerian and Cameroon runners finished the race.
This is the first time women African Mountain Running Championships was held and probably this was the reason because only two were the full team at the end of the competition: Ethiopia, of course, won gold medal in the team ahead host Country, Nigeria. Kenya (two runner), Cameroon and Tanzania (both one runner) sent incomplete team, but all present agreed that the female presence will be increase in the future.
All the Authority attended to the event starting with the Cross River State’s Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, to the WMRA President, Bruno Gozzelino, to the NAF Council member, Navy Captain Omatseye Nesiama (who represented NAF President) congratulated William Archibong, LOC Chairman, and all his staff for the great success of this edition of the race. African Athletic Confederation also know very well this continental, another jewel in the African Calendar, and certainly next time more work will be done in Africa what is mountain running, like discipline of athletics, fully integrated in this wonderful sport, thanking – for this situation – IAAF.
William Archibong received applause for his great work not only this year, but for all he did in the last six years, starting on 2005 when with the WMRA past President, Danny Hughes (passed away on February 2009), started in the organisation of this race.
During final speech Cross River State’s Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, announced his interest to host in 2014, the 29. WMRA World Mountain Running Championships, in Obudu, supported in this project by the entire Sponsor present, all enthusiastic for the performances of the athletes.
Bruno Gozzelino, WMRA President, underlined that this possibility could be a fantastic success for mountain running, due the fact that – probably – the strongest runners in the world are the African athletes: so the organisation in Africa of a WMRA World Mountain Running Championships could be a great show for the discipline. Of course, WMRA President underlined that many organizational aspects must be improved and time (four years) in advance seems long, but it is really very short. So finally “good luck Nigeria, Cross River State and Obudu for this project” were the last words of Bruno Gozzelino, WMRA President.
Photos by LOC: