WEYNAY GHEBRESILASIE made a winning return to the steeplechase in the British Milers’ Club grand prix at Stretford on Saturday night.
The 19-year-old Eritrean (left), now based in Birmingham although still a member of Sunderland Harriers, was having his first race over the sticks since finishing tenth in his heat (8.37.57) in last year’s London Olympics.
There were hopes that he would smash Sunderland Harriers’ long-standing club record of 9min.00.9sec set be Paul Taylor on the same Stretford track in 1979. But it was not to be.
Although proving a clear winner in 9.02.73, ahead of Norwegian Tom Karbo (9.06.34), he was nearly two seconds short of the 34-year-old mark.
Ghebresilasie’s fastest time for the steeplechase is 8.28.99. set in Belgium in May last year.
Sunderland University student Phil Hurst won the 1500m (3.42.70) from Sheffield’s Mukhtar Mohammed (3.43.14).
Durham’s Dan Garbutt was ninth (14.56.62) and former Sunderland Harrier Jack Martin 13th (15.06.56) in the 5000m won By Aldershot’s Johnny Hay in 14.13.68.
H Elswick Harriers’ Ethiopian Tadele Geremew won (15.14) yesterday’s Tyne Bridge Harriers’ Exhibition Park 5k Road Race in a sprint finish.
He was just one second ahead of Morpeth’s 42-year-old veteran Ian Hudspith. Durham City Harrier Dan Jenkin was third (15.40).
Sunderland Harrier John Watson was second over-55 to finish in 19.14.