Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ethiopian Fatuma wins Bejing International Marathon as China's 22-year reign ends

BEIJING, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- China's bid to win the women's race of the Beijing International Marathon for the 23rd straight year was thwarted on Sunday as Ethiopian Fatuma Sado Dergo braved the smog to finish first in the 42.195-kilometer run in two hours, 30 minutes and 3 seconds.

Dergo's compatriot Meseret Kitata Tolwak grabbed the silver medal in 2:31:08. Gong Lihua of China came third in 2:32:23, while defending champ Zhang Yingying was fourth in 2:37:09.

"It's a little cool today, and my muscle felt stressed," said Gong.

Since 1992, Chinese women runners never let the title slip away. But Dergo turned a new page.


Girmay Birhanu Gebru of Ethiopia won the men's event in two hours, ten minutes and 42 seconds.

Gebru had hoped to break the tournament record of 2:07:16, set by Ethiopian Tadese Tola one year ago, but it turned out to be almost five minutes shy of his personal best (2:05:49).

"It was a tough game, but I was satisfied with what I did to finish the match. Looking forward to coming back to Beijing next year," said Gebru.

The second and third place went to Abebe Negewo Degefa of Ethiopia (2:10:54) and Solomon Bushendich Naibei of Kenya (2:11:07) respectively.

The organizers adjusted the race events and slots allocation with the mini marathon event being cancelled in 2014. The full-race marathon was open to 26,000 entrants and half marathon to 4,000.
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