Eritrean five-time IAAF world half marathon champion, Zersenay Tadese took home gold at the Hervis Prague Half Marathon IAFF Gold Label Road Race in the Czech Republic.
Tadese came first ahead of his fellow countryman Mesel Amanuel who won silver for Eritrea despite tough competition from an elite field of Kenyan and Ethiopian runners.
The Kenyan star athletes included three men with personal bests of below 60 minute participating in Prague. The most prominent of this trio was Philemon Limo, who won the Hervis Prague Half Marathon with what was then a course record of 59:30 two years ago, which is still his best.
Tadese 31, once again managed to silence his critics who claimed the Eritrean could not perform well in cold weather competing with younger athletes.
“The weather is cold, but it will not be cold just for me. It will be cold for everybody,” Tadese said at a press conference before the race. “We will all do our best.”
The Eritrean half marathon champ was not able to break his own world record of 58 minutes, 23 seconds, which he set in 2010 at the Lisbon Half-Marathon. ” I felt sick last night and my body was heavy during the entire race today” Tadese said in an interview following the race.
Organizers of the 15th edition of the Hervis Prague Half Marathon had offered a €100,000 World record bonus as an incentive to break the record.
Tadese completed the first part of his preparations for Prague in Madrid where he has a second home but for the past five weeks he has been training at high altitude in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea to secure his gold medal.