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Kenenisa Bekele defends Great Ireland Run title

Updated: Sunday, 14 Apr 2013 17:35 | Comments

Kenenisa Bekele is once again the Great Ireland Run champion
Kenenisa Bekele is once again the Great Ireland Run champion

The legendary Kenenisa Bekele produced an awesome performance, despite gusting winds reaching 50 miles per hour, to comfortably defend his SPAR Great Ireland Run title in Dublin.

The Ethiopian, on a day definitely not favouring fast times, confidently coped with the conditions to win the 10km race in 28:51, well clear of Ukrainian Sergey Lebid and the winner's fellow countryman Ibrahim Jeilan who clocked 29:08 and 29:18 respectively.

Lauren Howarth, better known for her performances over shorter distances, claimed the women's crown in a much closer contest defeating fellow Britons, the defending champion Gemma Steel by 13sec, with a time of 33:36, and Julia Bleasdale who finished in 33:53.

In the men's race Stephen Scullion was the first Irishman to cross the line placing seventh in 30:15.

Linda Byrne was the host nation's leading woman finishing sixth in 34:24.

The meeting's inaugural street mile was claimed by Ireland's number one 1,500m track performer Paul Robinson.

Robinson took victory by two seconds in 4:14 ahead of fellow countrymen Eoin Everard and David Harper who recorded 4:18.

"It's fantastic," said Bekele determined to make amends for his drop in form over the last couple of years, mainly with a serious calf injury. "I am so happy with my performance.

"Now I am slowly, slowly, getting better. This year will be a great year for me. In all championships I will do better."

Howarth said: "I am really delighted to beat some big names out there.

"Conditions were pretty tough in the wind. Winning fills me confidence for the season ahead."

2013 Great Ireland Run results:

Men
1 K Bekele (Ethiopia) 28:51
2 S Lebid (Ukraine) 29:08
3 I Jeilan (Ethiopia) 29:18
4 H Mouaziz (Belgium) 29:26
5 C Birmingham (Australia) 29:30
6 U Buta (Norway) 29:40
7 S Scullion (Ireland) 30:15
8 M Lunders (Belgium) 30:28
9 R Hoornweg (Netherlands) 30:39
10 M Penas (Spain) 30:45

Women
1 L Howarth (GB) 33:36
2 G Steel (GB) 33:49
3 J Bleasdale (GB) 33:53
4 D Martin (Spain) 34:03
5 E Romagnolo (Italy) 34:19
6 L Byrne (Ireland) 34:24
7 E Baker (GB) 34:38
8 E Clayton (GB) 35:07
9 E Quaglia (Italy) 35:09
10 E Kelly (Ireland) 35:37

Men's street mile
1 P Robinson (Ireland) 4:14
2 E Everard (Ireland) 4:16
3 D Harper (Ireland) 4:18

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