Ethiopia’s Almaz Makes Fastest Ever Debut to Win Amsterdam Marathon

ADDIS ABABA Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia ran 2:17:20 to achieve the fastest ever women’s marathon debut and win a high-quality clash at the TCS Amsterdam Marathon on Sunday.

Her compatriott Tsegaye Getachew also made it an Ethiopian double, winning the men’s race in a PB of 2:04:49.



The women’s race in Amsterdam featured a trio of notable debutants and despite going up against some more experienced opponents when it comes to marathon running, the spotlight was on three Ethiopian athletes -Ayana, Genzebe Genzebe and Tsehay Gemechu.

Almaz won world 5000m gold in 2015 and the world 10,000m title in 2017 as well as Olympic 10,000m gold in a world record in 2016, while Genzebe set the world 1500m record in 2015, going on to win the world title in that event later that year.

Tsehay, meanwhile, finished fourth in the 5000m at the 2019 World Championships and they all formed part of the lead women’s group that followed male pacemakers through 5km in 16:13 and 10km in 32:43.

They remained to the fore through the halfway point, passed in 1:09:26, and then started to break away from the group, going through 25km in 1:22:06 and 30km in 1:38:04.

Tsehay managed to hold on until 33km but was dropped by Almaz and Genzebe.

Looking untroubled, Almaz later eased away from Genzebe as she reached 35km in 1:54:01, and was half a minute clear at 40km, passed in 2:10:07.

She clocked 2:17:20 to win the race and beat the previous fastest ever women’s marathon debut time of 2:17:23 set by Yalemzerf Yehualaw in Hamburg in April.

The performance puts Almaz seventh on the women’s world marathon all-time list.

Genzebe has also made it to the world marathon all-time top 20 thanks to her 2:18:05 run for second place whule Tsehay finished third, clocking 2:18:59.

“I have no words for this. This is very special and I am very happy,” Almaz told the World Athletics (WA). “It was very tough after my Olympic title in 2016 with injuries and pain. I am grateful for my husband, son and management for all the support.”

Ethiopian Double

While Almaz broke away over the final 5km, Tsegaye waited until the last 2km to make his move in Men’s race.



The 25-year-old athlete passed 5km in 14:33 and 10km in 29:12 before reaching half way in 1:01:54.

It was Kenya’s Josphat Boit who took over at the front when the pacemakers stepped aside at 30km, that point passed in 1:28:06, and 35km was reached in 1:43:09.

But the pace soon proved too much for Boit, as Ethiopia’s Bazezew Asmare pushed ahead to lead a breakaway group of five.

Still feeling good as they reached 40km in 1:58:23, Tsegaye kicked and no one could challenge him.

Kenya’s Titus Kipruto gave chase, with Asmare just behind them, but Tsegaye had the strength to stride clear, celebrating on his way to the finish line, which he crossed in 2:04:49.

Kipruto held on for second place, five seconds back, while Bazezew was a further three seconds behind him, finishing third in 2:04:57.

“The competition was very good, the spectators were great and there was a great atmosphere out on the course,” Tsegaye told the WA.

“I was just very pleased. I felt very good in the last 5km as we went into the park, and especially as we left the park with 2km to go.”

WA

Featured Image Caption: Almaz Ayana wins the TCS Amsterdam Marathon [Photo © NN Running Team]

The post Ethiopia’s Almaz Makes Fastest Ever Debut to Win Amsterdam Marathon appeared first on Ethiopian Monitor.

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