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News Archive

European Winners in both Edinburgh 10 k races

 

Juan Carlos de la Ossa powered to the fastest 10 kilometres time in

Great Britain this year, scoring a thrilling victory ahead of his

African rivals Sunday's BUPA Great Caledonian Run.

The Spaniard's unexpected success, quickly followed that of Jelena

Prokopcuka winner of the the women's race a few minutes earlier, to

complete a rare double for European athletes at the Edinburgh meeting.

De la Ossa twice European cross country runner-up - he claimed the

first silver medal in the Scottish capital 17 months ago - produced a

superb long sprint 600 metres from home to win in a time of 28minutes

22seconds. It wasn't an easy victory, both pre-race favourite Boniface Kiprop

of Uganda and Tanzania's John Yuda, were hot on his heels, indeed their

neck-and-neck duel, saw them both finish just two seconds behind the

winner.

De la Ossa admitted before the race he felt Kiprop last year's World

junior 10000m champion then fourth a month later in the Olympic 10000m

final, was the likeliest winner.

He said: "His is a high quality runner. But once we started, I felt

good. The course with its hills suited me, and although it was tough, I

always felt comfortable. I knew I was in good shape from the training I

have don back home.

I have also been been doing a lot of speedwork so when it came to the

finishing stages, I knew I could make a strong challenge. I didn't know

what was going on behind me in the last stretch -I just got my head

down and started sprinting. It is good to come back here where I won my

first cross country silver medal and score a victory. This is a good

win for me particularly beating the Africans. It is

also good for European athletics that she (Prokopcuka) won the women's

race."

Prokopcuka really savoured her success against two-times Olympic

10000m champion Derartu Tulu even though the Ethiopian did establish an

early lead. Tulu who is returning home to consider whether she will challenge

for more honours in this summer's World Championships, broke away just

before the half distance.But the Latvian winner of the Osaka marathon in January, quickly

reeled her in and with two kilometres of the race remaining had

established a six seconds lead, which gradually got longer.

Prokopcuka relishing one particuarly long uphill climb in the

closing stages, extended her winning margin to 12seconds, at the finish

clocking 32min 42sec, with Portugal's Jessica Augusto (33:24) taking

third. "Obviously I am pleased with my win, but you must remember Tulu ran

a marathon only three weeks ago and must have been feeling the effects

of that," said the benevolent winner.

The first European-born athlete in last summer's Olympic 10000m

final, added: "When Tulu got away early it was on a downhill stretch

and that suited her. For me running uphill is one of my strengths and when I broke away,

I was still running comfortably. She is a great runner and to have

beaten her is an honour which I will remember. It wasn't easy. Now I'm

lookinhg forward to running in this country in a fortnight's

time," said Prokopcuka who will be bidding to also collect the BUPA

Great Manchester Run title.

Tulu admitted although finding the early stages of the course to her

liking, she struggled on two of the very tough climbs in the second

part of the race. "She deserved to win and ran a very good race," said

Tulu. "There's no excuses from me - Jelena was so powerful on the

hills. "Now I'm going home to think about my future plans for the

summer,"

said Tulu who missed last week's Ethiopian Championships to run in

Edinburgh.Kenny Herriot a week after breaking the UK wheelchair

marathon

record in Italoy last weekend, stepped down for a home soil victory in

a time of 30min 01sec.

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