Tsigie Gebreselama clinches victory at Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon

In a spectacular showcase of athletic prowess, Tsigie Gebreselama emerged triumphant at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, a prestigious World Athletics Gold Label road race.

The Ethiopian athlete, renowned for her world cross country silver medal, shattered expectations by improving her personal best time by over half a minute, crossing the finish line in an impressive 1 hour, 5 minutes, and 14 seconds. Gebreselama’s stellar performance placed her 30 seconds ahead of her compatriot Ababel Yeshaneh, the 2020 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon champion and former world record-holder. Meanwhile, Tanzania’s Jackline Sakilu secured a surprising third place, achieving a national record of 1 hour, 6 minutes, and 5 seconds, a remarkable feat that exceeded her previous personal best by over three minutes.

This year’s edition of the race marked a historic moment as it was exclusively held on the fast and flat roads of Al Marjan Island. Despite facing challenging weather conditions, including limited visibility of around 50 meters at the finish line, the elite athletes showcased exceptional resilience and determination throughout the competition.

Gebreselama’s remarkable victory underscored her status as one of Ethiopia’s most promising talents in long-distance running. After breaking away from the lead women’s group alongside Yeshaneh, Gebreselama surged ahead in the final stretch, securing a well-deserved win.

Expressing her elation, the 23-year-old Gebreselama commented, “I am so happy to have run a personal best today.” Reflecting on her strategy during the race, she added, “I was very worried about Peres (Jepchirchir) in this race, so I was surprised when she dropped back.” Looking ahead, Gebreselama expressed ambitious goals, stating, “My aim is to break the half marathon world record.”

However, the race also saw Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir facing an unexpected setback early on, as a slipped shoe cost her precious seconds, ultimately affecting her performance in the competition.

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