(IAAF) Eritrea’s Samuel Tsegay and France’s Ophélie Claude-Boxberger took top honours at the 20km de Paris
Posted by: Semere Asmelash
Date: Tuesday, 16 October 2018
Eritrean Samuel Tsegay wins the 20 kilometers of Paris in 58'21 "
Published : October 16, 2018
Eritrea’s Samuel Tsegay and France’s Ophélie Claude-Boxberger took top honours at the 20km de Paris on Sunday (14), winning the 40th edition of the IAAF Silver Label road race in 58:23 and 1:09:48 respectively.
From the gun, a large group detached itself from the field. The leading pack then splintered into two parts. Tsegay, Gojjam Belayinem of Ethiopia, Felicien Muhitira of Burundi and Morhad Amdouni of France reached five kilometres in 14:40.
They were followed five seconds later by a group of six men, including the 2015 winner Stephen Ogari and France’s Hassan Chahdi.
Amdouni, the 2016 champion, was forced to drop out due to calf pain, leaving Tsegay, Belayinem and Muhitira in contention for victory. The trio passed through the halfway point in 28:56, meaning the second five-kilometre section was covered in 14:16. Alfred Cherop and Chahdi detached themselves from the chasing group and were 19 seconds behind the leaders at 10km.
Belayinem couldn’t maintain the pace and was dropped by Tsegay and Muhitira, who passed through 15 kilometres in 43:26, 38 seconds ahead of Belayinem. Chahdi remained in fourth place in 44:20, three seconds ahead of Cherop.
Tsegay, who was a last-minute entrant, made his move soon after 15 kilometres. He built a small lead over the Burundian, who wasn’t able to answer to the attack but maintained a good rhythm.
Tsegay, the 2014 world half marathon silver medallist, maintained his advantage to cross the line in 58:23. It was only his second race in 2018 following a 1:02:08 half marathon clocking in March.
Muhitira held on to take second place in 58:35, 12 seconds after the winner. Chahdi caught Belayinem in the closing stages of the race – the Ethiopian eventually dropped out – to wind up third in 59:51, 1:07 slower than his time from last year but three places higher.
In the women’s race, Liv Westphal, Samira Mezegrane-Saad, Ophélie Claude-Boxberger, Agnes Keino and Chaltu Dida passed five kilometres in 17:40. Keino then couldn’t sustain the pace and the quartet, spearheaded by Mezegrane-Saad, went through the halfway point in 34:56.
Soon after Dida, who was fourth last year in 1:07:49, ratcheted up the pace soon after. She opened a small gap over her opponents and reached 15 kilometres in 52:31. With five kilometres remaining, she had a lead of five seconds over Claude-Boxberger with Mezegrane-Saad and Westphal a further two seconds behind.
Claude-Boxberger wasn’t finished, though. She closed the gap on Dida before making a decisive move as the finish line loomed. She pulled off her first victory at this race in 1:09:48, 36 years after her father Jacky Boxberger won the 1982 edition.
“I’m very happy to win today,” she said. “I love the track but I get tears off my eyes to move up to the road. My father (who died in 2001) would have been very proud.”
Claude-Boxberger’s victory also ended the 17-year drought of French success in the women’s race at the 20km de Paris.
Dida finished second in 1:09:57, as Westphal faltered in the waning stages to round out the podium in 1:11:10.