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  • Ethiopians Athlete Deksisa and Gobena Win In Mumbai marathon

     

    Solomon Deksisa arrived here as firm favourite for the Tata Mumbai Marathon, stamped his authority and became only the second Ethiopian to win the men’s title, staving off a spirited challenge from compatriot Shumet Akalnaw and Kenyan Joshua Kipkorir.

    The 23-year-old Ethiopian clocked 2:09:34s, 3:12s off his personal best achieved as a runner-up at the Rotterdam marathon two years ago.

    But Deksisa had enough reasons to celebrate; it was his first title in six races.

    Amane Gobena made it a memorable day for the Ethiopians, winning the women’s title.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Deksisa may be a far cry from the likes of the legendary Abebe Bikila, who ran barefoot, and the magnificent long distance runner Haile Gebrselassie, but he was the cynosure of all eyes once the Elite runners crossed the red-line start near about the CSMT.

    The three podium finishers censured the pacesetters — Kenyan Jacob Kendagor, Ugandan Ezekiel and South African Xolisa Tyali — for not being up to the mark and also pointed out instances of amateur runners straying from their path and proving to be a hindrance.

    But, on an eventful Sunday when the temperature hit its peak in the morning hours, Deksisa was all by himself from the 35km mark, shrugging off a gallant attempt by the 29-year-old Akalnaw on the return Marine Drive stretch.

     

     

    With the field comprising runners with excellent credentials to bring down Kenyan Gideon Kipketer’s course record of 2:08:35s set in January, 2016, there was much suspense as Deksisa looked at his watch, took a few swigs from the water-bottle and began his final kick on the concrete surface across the Arabian sea, some 2km from the finish.

     

    But, he gave up with happy thoughts of going to win his maiden marathon and keeping track of the immediate challenger, Akalnaw.

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  • Ethiopian Athletes Smashes 10KM Record In Valencia

     

    Tsehay Gemechu took 15 seconds off Tirunesh Dibaba’s Ethiopian 10km record at the Valencia 10K Ibercaja, while compatriot Chala Ketema Regasa smashed the course record at the IAAF Bronze Label event on Sunday (13).

    Held in the Spanish coastal city that played host to last year’s IAAF World Half Marathon Championships Valencia 2018, the winning times surpassed all expectations.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    On a colder than expected morning with the thermometer marking 6C, the women’s contest was a thrilling battle between Gemechu and Kenya’s Gloria Kite. Held at the same time as the men’s race, the pair ran at a steady 3:02/3:03-per-kilometre pace to reach halfway in 15:01.

    Although the pace slightly dropped in the second half, there were no significant changes until the eighth kilometre when Gemechu pulled away from Kite, going on to cross the finish line in a massive career best of 30:15, taking 44 seconds off the course record and moving to fifth on the world all-time list.

    Kite finished second in 30:26 to destroy her best by more than a minute. The third spot on the podium went to Kenya’s Evaline Chirchir whose time of 30:43 was also inside the previous course record. In eighth, Trihas Gebre set a Spanish record of 31:39.

    The men’s race kicked off at a brisk pace of 2:43/2:45-per-kilometre with a six-man group led by than main favourites: Ethiopia’s Chala Ketema Regasa, Abayneh Degu and Batesfa Getahun, Uganda’s Stephen Kissa and Kenyans Matthew Kipkorir Kimeli, Edward Kibet and Vedic Cheruiyot.

    The halfway point was reached in 13:43, well on schedule to break the course record. First Kimeli, then Degu and later Girma lost ground and the event became a three-man fight between Kissa, Cheruiyot and Regasa with the Ugandan doing most of the front-running.

    They ran the closing kilometres together, but 10km debutant Regasa took advantage of his superior track speed (13:06.98) to overtake his opponents over the final 200 metres to romp home in 27:23 to Kissa’s 27:24 and Cheruiyot’s 27:26. Regasa’s time took 29 seconds off the previous course record.

    Further down the field, Spain’s 1995 world marathon champion Martín Fiz set a world M55 best with 31:36, taking 27 seconds off the previous mark.

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  • Kenenisa Bekele, Degitu Azimeraw make it all Ethiopian win at Kolkata 25K

     

    Kenenisa Bekele and Degitu Azimeraw registered victories as records tumble at the Kolkata 25K.

    With contrasting victories, Kenenisa Bekele and Degitu Azimeraw made Sunday’s Tata Steel Kolkata 25K an Ethiopian affair to remember.

    By winning his first 25 kilometre run in 1:13:48, Bekele shaved nearly four minutes off the course record in the year the run went international and Azimeraw, 18, lowered the women’s mark by over a minute breasting the tape at 1:26:01.

    Such was the impact of the quality field that the first eight including the top three Indians bettered the previous men’s course record of 1:17:16 set by defending champion G Lakshmanan in 2016. The Indians were led by Avinash Sable, a steeplechaser who was here to improve his endurance. Clocking 1:15:17, Sable finished fourth overall.

    On a pleasant, cool morning, Bekele, 35, approached the halfway mark seven seconds off the leading pack but kicked away to bounce on the home stretch.

    He had broken so far away from the group that had compatriot Asefa Diro (5th), Tsegay Tuemay (2nd), Augustino Sulle (3rd) and Sable that for the better part of the last 7km, Bekele looked at his watch instead of over his shoulder. He breasted the tape held by long jump world record holder Mike Powell and former India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly.

    “If there was a pacemaker, I would have been a minute-and-a-half faster,” said the world record holder in the 5000 and 10000m who has now shifted to the marathon. Kenya’s Denis Kimetto holds the world record for 25k at 1:11:18.

    The women’s race had Azimeraw, Hellah Kiprop and the pint-sized Failuna Matunga together till 500m from the finish. Matunga started falling back then and though Kiprop kept up with Azimeraw, she couldn’t produce the final sprint. So, Azimeraw won despite taking a wrong turn but course-correcting immediately.

     

    The first five runners went under the course record of 1:27:31 set by Sudha Singh in 2015. The fast improving L Suriya, Lakshmanan’s sister, was best among Indians and fifth overall with a timing of 1:26:53.

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