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Over 26,000 people participate in Fifth Toyota Great Ethiopian Run
Nov 27, 2005, 19:00 GMT
Addis Ababa - A record of over 26,000 people participated in the Fifth Toyota Great Ethiopian Run in Addis Ababa on Sunday, with top elite Ethiopian and Kenyan athletes taking part.
Ethiopian athletes won the 10 km road race in the main streets of Addis Ababa in both the men\'s and women\'s event. Nine Kenyan athletes - five men and four women - took part in the race.
Kenyan athlete Elliott Kipchogi was present as guest of honour serving as marshal along with Gabriella Zsabo of Romania and Haile Gebreselassie of Ethiopia.
The men\'s and women\'s 10,000 m events were won by Ketema Negussie and Genet Getahun, respectively, in record time to receive 35,000 birr (about 4.040 dollar) each in prize money - 25,000 birr for winning the race and 10,00 birr for setting new course record.
Ketema finished the race in 28 minutes, 24.13 seconds, beating the previous record of 29 minutes 54 seconds registered in 2003.
Genet won the women\'s 10,000 m event in 33 minutes, 5 seconds, improving her time for the event last year by alomst one minute.
The men\'s second place was won by Kenyan Nathan Nabaiyi and the third place by Ethiopian Diriba Merga. Ma\'aza Kiros and Yene-Alem Ayalew won second and third places in the women\'s event.
The Great Ethiopian Run was launched in 2001 as a 10-kilometre road race for youth participants in Addis Ababa to create awareness in the fight against HIV/AIDS with a motto, Run For Your Life, by Ethiopia\'s renowned long-distance runner Haile Gebre Selassie.
It has since grown into the biggest road race in Africa. The number of participants has increased steadily over the years, as the race attracted people of all walks of life, including athletes, government officials and diplomats who both participate and pay nominal sponsorship fees for other participants.
Organizers said this year\'s race was originally planned for 25,000 participants, but they had to comply with a demand for an additional 1,000 participants two days before event.
? dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur
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