Athletics: Abebe takes rapid road to riches

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The Independent Online
ADDIS ABEBE, of Ethiopia, earned the largest prize to have been claimed by any athlete for a single performance in winning yesterday's 10-kilometre road race in Jakarta, Indonesia. His time of 27min 40sec was recognised as a world best, thus bringing him the dollars 500,000 (pounds 330,000) bounty which leading road runners have been seeking for several years at this event.

The 23-year-old former world junior cross-country and 10,000m champion, who also won this race in 1990 and 1991, picked up a further dollars 25,000 (pounds 16,500) for his third victory.

Derartu Tulu, also from Ethiopia, was the fastest woman but failed to produce a fastest time. She finished in 32min 10sec, winning dollars 20,000 (pounds 13,000).

Abebe's was a pay day to make even the pounds 92,000 earned by Zola Budd for her head-to-head race with Mary Decker at Crystal Palace seven years ago seem relatively modest.

Abebe finished a second inside the world best mark set by Arturo Barrios of Mexico, who was second in 28:01. The Kenyan runner Simon Kipkoeh Chemoiymo, winner of Brazil's 15km Sao Silvetre in December and the Belfast 15km Cross Challange in January, finished third in 28:11.

However the Jakarta race, which is organised by Indonesian timber tycoon Bob Hasan, vice-president of the Asian Amateur Athletic Association, does not provide the highest cash bonus offer in the world. That was put forward at last year's New York marathon - dollars 1m.

All any man had to do to claim that was beat two hours for the 26 miles, 385 yards, which would have lowered the world record by nearly seven minutes.