SAO PAULO — Ethiopian athletes scored a double success Wednesday in the traditional New year’s Eve road race in Sao Paulo, with Dawit Admasu taking the honours for the men and 2008 champion Ymer Wude Ayalew winning the women’s race. Kenyan runners had won both men’s and women’s races in the past two years but this time their contingent was left trailing in Latin America’s biggest race. Admasu, having already made an earlier attempt to hit the front, finally made the breakthrough in the final kilometre to leave the pack in his wake.
Admasu completed the 15 kilometers through Brazil’s most populous city in 45 minutes 4 seconds, just holding off Kenyan rival Stanley Koech by 1 second with Tanzanian Fabiano Naasi third in 45 minutes 10 seconds. Kenya’s Edwin Kipsang Rotich of Kenya had won the past two men’s titles. Just beforehand, Ayalew ended a five-year Kenyan hegemony in the women’s race to land her second title. Ayalew won in 50 minutes 43 seconds with compatriot and early pace-setter Netsanet Kebede second for a second straight year, 3 seconds adrift. Kenyan Priscah Jeptoo, who won in 2011, was third, 36 seconds off the pace. The Brazilian contingent’s best showing came from Giovani dos Santos, who placed fifth in the men’s race, having managed fourth in 2012 and 2013. Joziane da Silva Cardoso came eighth for the women. Brazil did score a win back in 2010 when Marilson dos Santos �X who is concentrating on Rio Olympic preparations �X won the men’s race. The last home women’s winner was Lucelia Peres in 2006.