Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ethiopians dominate Dubai Marathon

(Jan 26, 2014, (Dubai))--Tsegaye Mekonnen Asefa enjoyed a fairytale race as the 18-year-old from Ethiopia became the youngest ever to win the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon men’s event on Friday. Asefa finished in a time of 2 hours 4 minutes 32 seconds to lead an Ethiopian clean sweep ahead of compatriots Markos Geneti (second in 2:05:13) and Girmay Birhanu Gebru (third in 2:05:49).

Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
The fourth and fifth places were also clinched by Ethiopians, with Tamirat Tola Adera finishing in 2:06:17, followed by Azmeraw Bekele Molaign in 2:07:12. But the Ethiopian women did even better. They clinched the first nine positions, with Mulu Seboka winning in 2:25:01. Seboka was followed by Meselech Melkamu Haileyesus in 2:25:23 and Firehiwot Dado was third in 2:25:53.

The race began at 7am, with the runners making their way past iconic buildings such as the Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Mosque, Madinat Jumeirah and Union House before reaching the finish line on Umm Suqeim Road close to the Dubai Police Academy. With blue skies and a temperature of around 15 degrees Celsius at the start, the conditions were perfect for Asefa, who shocked everyone as he left all his rivals far behind to break the tape.

It was a double delight for Asefa as he also broke the unofficial world junior record by 95 seconds. His time was also the second fastest ever in the Dubai Marathon. The men’s race began at a fast clip with the leading pack well within world record pace as they sought to better the 2:03:23 set by Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang in Berlin last year. Read more from Gulf News »

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