Dibaba – This Win Is For Manchester
TIRUNESH Dibaba dedicated her fourth Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run victory to the people of the city as thousands came out to support runners on an emotional and poignant day in Manchester.
Dibaba, the triple Olympic champion and five-time world champion, was the favourite ahead of the 10km and was not troubled as she cruised home more than two minutes ahead of second-placed Christelle Daunay.
In the men’s race, it was an American 1-2 as Dathan Ritzenhein claimed victory from Bernard Lagat.
All eyes were on Dibaba in the pre-race build-up and the Ethiopian did not disappoint as she eased to victory in 31.03. Daunay was a distant second in 33.08 while Britain’s Katherine Wootton was an impressive third in 33.18.
Dibaba has won in Manchester in 2013, 2014, 2016 previously and is now one victory away from Haile Gebrselassie’s five wins in the city.
"I am very happy to win this race again," said Dibaba. "This is a very important race for me because of what happened this week in Manchester, I wanted to give my support to the people of Manchester and England. It is special to me."
Ritzenhein last raced in England when he finished second to Mo Farah in the Great North Run nine months ago, but went one better in Manchester as he saw off stiff competition to win in 28.06.
Lagat, the 42-year-old American smashed the world men’s V40 record here two years ago, and was in excellent form in Manchester once more as he finished in 28.13.
South Africa’s Stephen Mokoka finished third in 28.22, while pre-race favourite Wilson Kipsang was fifth after being pipped by Mokoka and Collis Birmingham.
Andy Vernon was the best of the British athletes, finishing sixth in 28.36.
In the inaugural Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run half marathon held earlier in the day, Joe Sagar became the first person to win the 13.1 mile event.
Sagar broke late to pip Mark Newton, the winner clocking 1.12.54 and Newton finishing in 1.13.10. Abdul Madar was third in 1.13.59.
Lucy Niemz was a clear winner in the women’s event, displaying her yellow ribbon in solidarity to Manchester to finish in 1.24.24. Louise Cartmell was second in 1.25.31 and Annie Byrne third in 1.25.51.
The true stars of the day were the thousands of people of all abilities who took to the streets of Manchester to demonstrate their solidarity, resolve and defiance in the wake of the recent terrorist attack.