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Invicta East Kent athlete Abel Tsegay wins Pentland Homes Canterbury 10-mile road race for sixth year running

By Ollie Collins

Invicta East Kent runner Abel Tsegay won the Pentland Homes Canterbury 10-mile race for the sixth year in a row on Sunday.

The 23-year-old's victory came in 52mins 29secs finishing over three minutes ahead of Medway and Maidstone's Mark Wilkins.

Tsegay's coach Peter Mullervy has overseen the refugee-runner's career after he came to the country from Eritrea in 2014 and believes he can run internationally.

Abel Tsegay with his medal Picture: Paul Amos
Abel Tsegay with his medal Picture: Paul Amos

He said: "I remember getting a call about taking on a refugee-runner and I wasn't really sure what to think, but from day one I realised he was a genuine talent.

"Abel hopefully gets his British citizenship in June and I think he will be running in a British vest at some point this summer because UKA have already shown great interest.

"His drive is fantastic and since he arrived his sole focus has been to become a professional runner."

On winning Sunday's race Tsegay's coach said: "It was very pleasing to see Abel win the race again, it's a big focus of his season and he always delivers.

"He's done really well after recovering from injury and even had a 100m lead after the first mile."

Tsegay had previously expressed his ambition to run a sub-50 minute 10-miles but fell short on this occasion.

Mullervy said: "The problem for Abel is he never gets any opposition pushing him forward in this race, but I do believe he's capable of running a sub-50 minute 10-mile race.

"His determination always takes him over the line but it's hard to go for a personal best when you're that far clear.

"The next focus for him will be the national cross county championships in February."

Helen Gaunt from Tonbridge Athletics Club was the first female finisher with a time of 1hr 3mins 57secs.

Gaunt finished 80 seconds ahead of second-placed Kat Owens from Crawley.

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