Deso Gelmisa triumphed in the men’s race as Ethiopian athletes dominated the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday.
Kenya’s Rosemary Wanjiru produced the seventh-fastest time in the women’s marathon history to win the women’s race, preventing an all-Ethiopian podium in the process.
The race was down to four by 20km as Wanjiru, along with three Ethiopian athletes reached that point in 1:04:44.
The quartet, involving Tsehay Gemechu, Ashete Bekere, and Worknesh Edesa, remained together behind the two pacemakers through 25km in 1:21:07.
They decided to leave the pacers behind a few kilometers later and the tempo slipped to 2:17 pace at 30km, reached in 1:37:25.
Wanjiru and Tsehay forged ahead over the next couple of kilometers.
At the 40km mark, the Kenyan upped her pace to create a 19-second lead over Tsehay, and eventually crossed the finishing line in 2:16:28 PB.
Tsehay finished second in 2:16:56, becoming just the eighth woman to ever achieve below the 2:17 mark.
Her compatriots Ashete finished third in 2:19:11 and Worknesh Edesa fourth in 2:20.13.
Men’s race: Ethiopians take the top three spots
Deso Gelmisa held off a strong challenge from his compatriots Mohamed Esa and Tsegaye Getachew to win the men’s race.
The trio along with their compatriot Deme Tadu, Kenya’s Titus Kipruto and Canada’s Cameron Levins, broke away from the leading group around 37km.
Levins was unable to hold on after hitting the front a short while later and taking the leaders through 40km in 1:58:54.
Deso, Mohamed and Tsegaye kicked again and in a three-way sprint to finish the race. And it was last year’s Paris Marathon winner Deso who had the strongest finish.
He won in 2:05:22, narrowly piping Esa, who recorded the same time.
Tsegaye was three seconds back to finish third on the all-Ethiopian podium.
1 Rosemary Wanjiru (KEN) 2:16:28
2 Tsehay Gemechu (ETH) 2:16:56
3 Ashete Bekere (ETH) 2:19:11
4 Worknesh Edesa (ETH) 2:20.13
5 Betsy Saina (USA) 2:21:40
6 Mizuki Matsuda (JPN) 2:21:44
7 Ai Hosoda (JPN) 2:22:08
8 Lindsay Flanagan (USA) 2:26:08
9 Kaori Morita (JPN) 2:26:31
10 Yukari Abe (JPN) 2:28:20
1 Deso Gelmisa (ETH) 2:05:22
2 Mohamed Esa (ETH) 2:05:22
3 Tsegaye Getachew (ETH) 2:05:25
4 Titus Kipruto (KEN) 2:05:32
5 Cameron Levins (CAN) 2:05:36
6 Deme Tadu Abate (ETH) 2:05:38
7 Ichitaka Yamashita (JPN) 2:05:51
8 Kenya Sonota (KEN) 2:05:59
9 Suguru Osako (JPN) 2:06:13
10 Hiroto Inoue (JPN) 2:07:09
Featured Image: Deso Gelmisa pips Mohamed Esa to win the Tokyo Marathon (© AFP / Getty Images)
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