VIDEO: Peachtree Road Race favorite makes shocking mistake during final stretch

2022 Peachtree Road Race winner Senbere Teferi takes wrong turn just before finish line in 2023 race
Published: Jul. 4, 2023 at 8:46 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 4, 2023 at 12:13 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - It was a last-minute heartbreak that cost a top pick of the 2023 Peachtree Road Race Elite Women’s race a second consecutive win.

Ethiopian runner Senbere Teferi, who won in 2022, was the clear favorite this year.

However, during the final stretch toward the finish line on 10th Street, Teferi followed a police motorcycle down the wrong street. You see her quickly turn and head back onto the correct path.

Because of the error, Hailyu Fotyen Tesfay took first place with an unofficial time of 30:44. Teferi finished in third place.

In a statement, the AJC Peachtree Road Race released a statement saying they were “disappointed” admitting that they fell short.

“As our defending champion, Senbere Teferi, was approaching the finish line, it looks like she momentarily became confused and followed a police motorcycle when it turned off the course. She was within sight of the finish banner, but we understand that in the heat of competition instructions can be misinterpreted. As an organization, we are disappointed whenever we fall short of perfection, and in this case, it appears we did.”

Tesfay was asked through a translator about those final meters and said this to CNN:

“I was really upset by Senbere’s mistake because she was in the front and she was leading, but she took that last turn,” she said. “I saw the finish line. At first I thought they didn’t really show us that well yesterday where the finish was. But after I saw that car turn, I saw the finish sign in front of me, so I pushed ahead. But I was really upset because I really planned to stick with Senbere at the finish.”


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