• Oukhelfen and Tesfu claim the win in Alcobendas
European Under 23 bronze medallist Abdessamad Oukhelfen from Spain and Dolshi Tesfu from Eritrea took the honors at the Cross Internacional de Alcobendas on the outskirts of Madrid, the sixth leg of the World Athletics Cross Country Tour Gold. The Alcobendas race was held on a sunny but cold day with a temperature of 8°C.
Rodrigue Kwizera from Burundi had originally crossed the finish-line first, but he was later disqualified because he did not wear the vest of his Spanish club, Playas de Castellon.
Reigning European 3000m Indoor champion Adel Mechaal took the early lead in the 10060m race. The Spanish middle distance runner was joined at the lead of the race by Kwizera, Thomas Ayeko from Uganda, and a trio of Spanish runners formed by Abdessamad Oukhelfen, Carlos Mayo and Raul Celada.
Mayo went to the front closely followed by Kwizera, Ayeko and Oukhelfen during the second lap. Mechaal and Celada dropped back. Kwizera stepped up the pace at halfway. Only Oukhelfen was able to follow the 22-year-old Burundian runner, who clocked 6:30 in the penultimate lap.
Kwizera, who was chasing his fourth cross country win on Spanish soil after finishing first in Soria, San Sebastian, Seville, increased his lead to five seconds over Oukhelfen at the bell. Mayo and Ayeko formed the chasing group 20 seconds behind Kwizera. Mayo pulled away from Ayeko with 1300 metres to go.
Kwizera crossed the finish-line first with 29:09 with a gap of 14 seconds over Oukhelfen, who beat Mayo by 16 seconds.
After the disqualification of Kwizera, Oukhelfen was promoted to first place. He has become the first Spanish runner to win in Alcobendas since 1995 marathon champion Martin Fiz’s triumph in 1992.
Doshi Tesfu took the lead from the early stages of the women’s race. Only Kenya’s Lucy Mawia was able to keep up with her pace.
Tesfu and Mawia led by four seconds over Likina Amebaw from Ethiopia. Tesfu stepped up the pace in the second lap, but Mawia was able to follow her.
Mawia went to the lead briefly during the last lap briefly, but Tesfu pulled away from her Kenyan rival over the final uphill section of the course.
Tesfu clocked 7:32 in the final lap to cross the finish-line in 26:45 beating Mawia by four seconds. Amebew crossed the finish-line in 27:03.
Bianca Fernandez was the first Spanish in fifth place in 28:00 ahead of her compatriot Laura Luengo.
Tesfu finished 15th in the 10000m at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.