SAO PAULO (AFP) – Ethiopian athletes scored a double success Wednesday in the traditional New year’s Eve road race in Sao Paulo, with Dawit Admasu taking the honours for the men and 2008 champion Ymer Wude Ayalew winning the women’s race.
Kenyan runners had won both men’s and women’s races in the past two years but this time their contingent was left trailing in Latin America’s biggest race.
Admasu, having already made an earlier attempt to hit the front, finally made the breakthrough in the final kilometre to leave the pack in his wake.
Admasu completed the 15 kilometres through Brazil’s most populous city in 45min 04sec, just holding off Kenyan rival Stanley Koech by 1sec with Tanzanian Fabiano Naasi third in 45min 10sec.
Kenya’s Edwin Kipsang Rotich of Kenya had won the past two men’s titles.
Just beforehand, Ayalew ended a five-year Kenyan hegemony in the women’s race to land her second title.
Ayalew won in 50min 43sec with compatriot and early pace-setter Netsanet Kebede second for a second straight year, 3sec adrift.
Kenyan Priscah Jeptoo, who won in 2011, was third, 36sec off the pace.
The Brazilian contingent’s best showing came from Giovani dos Santos, who placed fifth in the men’s race, having managed fourth in 2012 and 2013. Joziane da Silva Cardoso came eighth for the women.
Brazil did score a win back in 2010 when Marilson dos Santos – who is concentrating on Rio Olympic preparations – won the men’s race.
The last home women’s winner was Lucelia Peres in 2006.