Berihu Aregawi wins the fight against Katir in the San Silvestre Vallecana


The Ethiopian athlete Berihu Aregawi won this Sunday, December 31, 2023, in the 59th edition of the Nationale-Nederlanden San Silvestre Vallecana international race, without a record for the event but with a nice fight with the Spanish Mo Katir, second, while in women's category there was a final sprint between three, with victory for the Ethiopian runner Ababel Yeshaneh.

There was a lot of expectation in this 59th edition of the 'Sansi', the last race of the year and with a luxury participation. And expectations were met as the main favorite, Aregawi, who is the current world cross-country runner-up and 5K world record holder, beat Katir and the rest of the contenders with a time of 27:15.

However, it was the Spanish Mo Katir, winner of the 2021 San Silvestre and second in the last edition behind Joshua Cheptegei, who began to open hostilities by signing the first major change of pace and the first selection.

And Katir held his own, in a one-on-one with Aregawi, until the Ethiopian, starting in the 22nd minute of the race and going uphill, took off and made Katir implode. The Spaniard tried to pace himself and keep up with the pace, close to the Ethiopian, but it was impossible and he ended up entering the finish line 15 seconds after the winner.

Aregawi, already the current winner of the 'Sansi', came backed by his current status as world cross-country runner-up and 5K world record holder. Furthermore, last March in Laredo (Cantabria) he achieved the second best time in history in a 10K road race, doing 26:33 and staying nine seconds behind the record of the Kenyan Rhonex Kipruto.

He could not beat the record of 26:41 minutes from 2018, held by Jakob Kiplimo, but Berihu Aregawi entered the Vallecas Stadium with cheers and honors and took the award ahead of Katir and Aarón Las Heras (27:52 ) who entered third and signed the Spanish double on the podium in this race with a gold label from the International Athletics Federation (IAAF).


A double Spanish presence on the podium that could not be seen in the women's category. The winner was the Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh with a time of 30:31, the same time set by Asmarech Anlay and just one second faster than Likina Amebaw, in a photo finish that was one of the closest in memory. at the Vallecan event.

Ababel Yeshaneh was not in the lead but already inside the Vallecas Stadium, home of Rayo Vallecano, he took advantage of the orange carpet to sprint and overtake Asmarech Anlay, who lost his front bib in a sprint that was too long, and also Likina Amebaw , who could not cross the finish line in the lead either.

A heart-stopping ending in a race in which until well into the race there were five runners who had a chance of victory. And in the end that three-way fight was seen from afar by the Spanish Laura Priego, the best of the 'army' and excited with a great finale of the test.


The mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, started the San Silvestre Vallecana 2023, accompanied by the delegate councilor for Sports, Sonia Cea, and the councilor of Puente de Vallecas, Ángel Niño, and participated in the popular race starting in the third wave, to highlight at the end the “special and extraordinary” atmosphere of an “optimistic” city like Madrid “in the best 10 kilometer race in the world.”

For 2024, Almeida asked for health for all Madrid residents and “hope for those who are going through the worst”, after running this popular race with more than 40,000 registered athletes who enjoyed this last race of 2023, starting in the Plaza de los Sagrados Hearts and end on Candilejas street, in Puente de Vallecas.