Kenyan runners Edwin Soi and Sylvia Kibet are the winners of the Corsa Internationale San Silvestro, the 33rd edition of BOCLASSIC New Year’s Eve Run in Bozen/Bolzano, Italy.
The Kenyan duo triumph in front of an impressive setting of over 10,000 spectator marked the first Kenyan double win in Bozen/Bolzano since 1996.
This year, The African competitors were too fierce for the Europeans. Last year’s winner Aniko Kalovics did not manage to perform a solo run as in 2006.
And in the men’s run, record winner Serhiy Lebid had to realise that two 10-km run in two days take their toll. While he was second in Paris, the European Cross champion had to be content with fourth position in Bozen.
Instead, the Kenyans gave an outstanding performance. Sylvia Kibet, who in the world championship in Osaka lost the 5000 m bronze medal for 4 hundredth only, performed a tactically clever run.
Over long periods, Kalovics and the Ethiopian Emebet Etea Bedada alternated in the first rank. Kibet caught up and left their competitors behind on the last 400 m.
The Men’s Run of 10,000m was also top casted, although last year’s titleholder Abderrahim Goumri from Morocco called his participation off at short notice due to problems with his visa.
A preliminary decision took place in the fourth of the eight rounds: Soi and number three of last year Habtamu Fikadu Awash from Ethiopia could break away from the rest of the field. As in the Women’s Run, the last 400 m were decisive.
Soi did not give Awash any chance. The Kenyan won this year’s World Athletics Final over 3,000m as well as over 5,000m defeating among other Bernard Lagat, the world champion from Osaka. Furthermore, he was elected best road runner of the world. The 21-year-old is a hot tip for an Olympic medal in Beijing later this year.
"Today, two absolute world class runners won the race. We can be sure to hear again from them in the future. As organiser, this year’s BOCLASSIC leaves nothing to be desired," OK-director Thomas Vonmetz comments.
Men (10 km): 1. Edwin Soi (Kenya) 28:50; 2. Habtamu Fikadu Awash (Ethiopia) 28:54; 3. Paul Kimugul Kimaiyo (Kenya) 29:04; 4. Sergej Lebid (Ukraine) 29:08; 5. Mubarak Hassan Shami (Qatar) 29:18; 6. Benhari Mokhtar (France) 29:30; 7. Wilson Busienei (Uganda) 29:47; 8. Cosimo Caliandro (Italy) 29:53; 9. Daniele Caimmi (Italiy) 29:58; 10. Ruggero Pertile (Italy) 30:09.
Women (5 km): 1. Sylvia Kibet (Kenya) 16:01; 2. Etea Emebet Bedada (Ethiopia) 16:05; 3. Aniko Kalvocis (Hungary) 16:08; 4. Catherine Kurui (Kenya) 16:11; 5. Sonja Roman (Slovenia) 16:16; 6. Tetyana Holovchenko (Ukraine) 16:19; 7. Agnes Tschurtschenthaler (Italy) 16:22; 8. Valentina Belotti (Italy) 16:23; 9. Renate Rungger (Italy) 16:28; 10. Samira Mezeghrane (France) 16:39; 11. Silvia Weissteiner (Italy) 16:49.