Strong debut and victory for Tirunesh Dibaba at the Great North Run (Mark Shearman)
Newcastle, UK – Tirunesh Dibaba made an immediate impact in her Half Marathon debut with a victory in Sunday’s Bupa Great North Run.
The 26-year-old Olympic 10,000m champion won the race in 1:07:35, the seventh fastest time this year. But more importantly it was one of the fastest Half Marathon debuts ever. For the Ethiopian this was a major step towards a road running career in the Marathon.
Dibaba defeated the marathon World champion Edna Kiplagat (Kenya/1:07:41) and the Olympic Champion at the classic distance Tiki Gelana (Ethiopia/1:07:48), who both ran personal bests as well.
The Olympic Marathon bronze medallist Wilson Kipsang of Kenya took the men’s race in 59:06, the fifth fastest this year. Kipsang just edged out Kenyan Micah Kogo (59:07) while Imane Merga of Ethiopia was third with 59:56. About 40,000 runners started this IAAF Gold Label Road Race, which was run in fine weather conditions.