Ethiopian Athletes Win in Prague, Barcelona Marathons

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s Bekelech Gudeta claimed victory at the Volkswagen Prague Marathon, a World Athletics Elite Label road race, on Sunday.

Belelech took almost two minutes off her Personal Best to win the women’s race in 2:22:56 from Kenya’s Purity Changwony (2:25:11).

“I worked very hard,” the athlete told the World Athletics (WA).

In March, Bekelech finished third in the Istanbul Half Marathon in 1:06:35 – her third Personal Best of the year after having also clocked 31:10 for 10km in Herzogenaurach at the end of last month. “I wanted an even better time,” she said. “But I am still very happy.”

Her compatriot Kelkile Gezahegn finished second finishing the men’s title 34 seconds behind Kenya’s Nobert Kigen who won the title finishing in 2:07:54. Yitayal Atnafu Zerihun finished third in 2:08:44.

Ethiopian Double in Barcelona

On the same day, 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.

The athlete 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.

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.

Meseret also topped an Ethiopian 1-2-3, running 2:23:11 to beat Ayantu Kumela (2:25:00) and Zenebu Fikadu (2:25:11).

Meseret’s time, meanwhile, takes more than four minutes off her previous best – recorded when winning the Zurich Maraton Donostia-San Sebastian in November. It also improves the women’s course record by 42 seconds. The previous course record was set by Ethiopia’s Tadu Teshome last year.

Tsehay Pips Kosgei in Lisbon

Athlete Tsehay Gemechu out kicked Brigid Kosgei to retain her title at the EDP Lisbon Half Marathon, a World Athletics Elite Label event, on Sunday.

Ethiopia’s world 5000m fourth-place finisher Tsehay ran 1:06:44 to win by two seconds ahead of Kenya’s world marathon record-holder Kosgei.

Featured Image Caption: Bekelech Gudeta wins the Volkswagen Prague Marathon (Photo WA/RunCzech)