By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL –Ethiopians secured first place at the podium in both the men’s and women’s races at this year’s Corrida Internacional de São Silvestre (San Silvestre International Race) in São Paulo city Wednesday, December 31st. The fifteen-kilometer race (9.3 miles) through the streets of São Paulo on New Year’s Eve is considered the oldest and most prestigious races in the country.
Dawit Admasu, nineteen years old, crossed the men’s race finish line with a time of 45 minutes and four seconds while twenty-seven year old Ymer Ayalew won the women’s race with a time of 50 minutes and 43 seconds. This is the second time Ayalew has won the Sao Silvestre. Netsanet Kebede, also from Ethiopia, came in three seconds behind Ayalew. The other top runners were from Kenya and Tanzania.
The top Brazilian runner in the men’s race was Giovani dos Santos, 33, who came in fifth place with a time of 45 minutes and twenty two seconds. The best place by Brazil in the women’s race was eighth place obtained by Joziane Cardoso with a time of 53 minutes and eighteen seconds.
Almost 30,000 runners signed up for this year’s race and many, including foreigners complained about the hot, muggy weather. According to the city’s Centro de Gerenciamento de Emergencia (Emergency Administration Center) which monitors the weather in the city, thermometers were registering 24 degrees Celsius when the starting whistle sounded.
Before the main race para-athletes in wheelchairs competed in their own São Silvestre race with two men seizing first and second place, while two women para-athletes won third and fourth place.