Ethiopian distance runner Yalemzerf Yehualaw kicked into high gear right out of the gate in 2022 by breaking records with her first run of the year. Yehaulaw, a 2020 bronze medallist at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships, swept her way to the title in the Great Ethiopian Run 10 km in January.
Yehualaw claimed the win by 12 seconds ahead of Girmawit Gebregziabiher, who led a long way in the race. After hitting the seven km mark, Yehualaw made her move on her opponent. Yehualaw pulled away from her opponent comfortably over the last kilometre in Addis Ababa to open up the big time gap.
After having missed her season opener in Valencia in January, the home success for Yehualaw saw her start the season strongly.
New Great Ethiopian run record time
Yehualaw’s time of 31:17 on the streets of Addis Ababa came in a well-executed tactical performance. The turn of speed and power she produced over the second half of the race saw her smash her previous Great Ethiopian run race record by 38 seconds.
The time also went down in the record books as the fastest recorded 10 km time at altitude. With the Ethiopian Addis Ababa capital 2350m above sea level, Yehualaw will likely target new distance records in events closer to sea level where oxygen levels are higher.
Setting records is nothing new for the 22-year-old. In 2019, she set an African Games Record in the half-marathon, the same year she set her initial Great Ethiopian Run course record. In 2021, Yehualaw set a new world half-marathon record time of 1:03:43 in Northern Ireland. But it remains an unofficial time as the course was deemed 54 metres short.