Yihunilign Adane led the top two under the previous men’s course record, while Meseret Gebre also ran the fastest ever women’s race at the Zurich Barcelona Marathon. Another Ethiopian Tsehay Gemechu outkicked Brigid Kosgei to retain her title in Lisbon Half Marathon.
Achieving an Ethiopian double, Yihunilign ran 2:05:53 to finish ahead of his compatriots Gebru Redahgne (2:05:58) and Kabede Wami, who matched the course record from last year with 2:06:03, while Dekebo also topped an Ethiopian 1-2-3, running 2:23:11 to beat Ayantu Kumela (2:25:00) and Zenebu Fikadu (2:25:11).
Yihunilign, who finished third at last year’s Lisbon Marathon, took half a minute off his PB to win a close race and beat the course record set by Kenya’s Samuel Kosgei last year.
In another super event in Lisbon Ethiopia’s world 5000m fourth place finisher Tsehay Gemechu ran 1:06:44 to win by two seconds ahead of Kenya’s world marathon record holder Kosgei, while Kosgei’s compatriot Ranju ran solo to a time of 1:00:13, 47 seconds ahead of Ethiopia’s Mohamed Esa.
Tsehay, Kosgei and Goytom G/Selassie had remained together until the closing kilometers, passing 10KM in 31:37 and 15KM in 47:25. Before they reached 20KM in 1:03:27, Tsehay and Kosgei had managed to drop Goytom and the leading pair was seven seconds ahead at that point. The advantage only grew and as they kicked in battle, it was Tsehay who had the best closing strength, winning in a sprint finish. The race happened a couple of months after Kosgei’s Tokyo Marathon victory in 2:16:02, with Goytom third on that occasion.
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