Ashete Bekere wins the Rotterdam Marathon (Photo © AFP/Getty Images)
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Ethiopia’s Ashete Bekere Wins Rotterdam Marathon

Ethiopia’s Ashete Bekere won the women’s title at the Rotterdam Marathon on Sunday.

The World Athletics Gold Label road race began after a minute of silence held in honor of world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum, who died last February.

Ashete and her compatriot Sisay Meseret, Kenya’s Selly Chepyego and Viola Kibiwot were in the leading group that was on the course record pace as the quartet passed 25km in 1:21:23.

Ashete then forged ahead and created an eight-second advantage over her rivals when she reached the 30km in 1:37:48, according to the World Athletics (WA).

The 2019 Berlin Marathon winner Ashete maintained the her momentum for the next five kilometers and slowed in the latter stages of the race.

She, however, went on to win unchallenged in 2:19:30 ahead of Kibiwot (2:20:57) and Chepyego (2:22:46).

In the men’s race, Ethiopian athletes had to settle for the second and third spots after a close contest in the final kilometers of the race won by Dutch athlete Abdi Nageeye.

Abdi clocked 2:04:45 to win the title – just five seconds ahead of Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn, per the WA report.

The other Ethiopian athlete, Birhanu Legese, took third place, crossing the finishing line in 2:05:16.