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Sao Paulo, Jan 1: Ethiopia’s Belay Bezahb and Kenyan runner Sandrafelis Tuei won the men’s and women’s divisions in the annual Sao Silvestre Road Race, the marquee competition of Latin American athletics.
African men have won the event in Sao Paulo 21 times since the race adopted its current format in 1991, while women from Africa have taken top honours on 17 occasions.
Nearly 30,000 athletes from Brazil, Bahrein, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Argentina, Ecuador and Bolivia took part in Monday’s race through the streets of this Brazilian metropolis here on Monday.
Bezabh, 23, completed the 15 kilometre course with a time of 45 minutes and 3 seconds, besting two-time defending champion and compatriot Dawit Adamsu by 3 seconds.
Rounding out the top five were Ethiopia’s Amdework Tadese, Emmanuel Gisamoda of Tanzania and Ugandan runner Maxwell Rotich.
The best performance by a Brazilian man belonged to 37-year-old Giovani dos Santos, who finished eighth.
On the women’s side, Tuei overtook countrywoman Pauline Kamulo, on a climb to finish the race in 50:02.
Kamulo took the second place, followed by Ethiopia’s Mestawut Truneh and Esther Kakuri of Kenya, winner of the 2018 half-marathons of Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires.
Another Ethiopian runner, Birtukan Alemu, claimed the fifth spot.
Brazil’s own Jenifer Silva took the eighth place.