September 27, 2021
Ethiopia's Guye Adola and Gotytom Gebreslase won the men's and women's Berlin Marathons on Sunday but compatriot Kenenisa Bekele, a two-time former winner, had to settle for third in the men's race as he failed in his bid to break the world record.
Adola won the men's race in an official time of two hours, five minutes, 45 seconds -- well short of Eliud Kipchoge's world record 2:01:39 set in the German capital three years ago -- with second-placed Bethwel Yegon of Kenya 29 seconds behind.
Bekele, the 2016 and 2019 winner in Berlin, had been attempting to break his personal best when he came within two agonizing seconds of Kipchoge's record two years ago but ended up settling for third as he finished one minute, two seconds behind Adola.
"I thought before the race I could beat Kenenisa (Bekele). "It was so hot, my feet were burning in my shoes, "
Adola added as the temperature topped 20 degrees Celsius on the course.
Nine months after suffering from Covid-19, Bekele, who turns 40 next June, was disappointed with his time but had no thoughts of retiring.
"The big problem for me was the lack of training because of the pandemic,"
said Bekele, one of the greatest distance runners of all time, having won the world and Olympic gold medals over both 5,000 meters and 10,000m.
"I wanted to do well in Berlin, but I just couldn't do as well as I hoped -- this does not mean my career is over."
Ethiopian runners swept the podium in the women's race as Gebreslase won on her debut over the marathon distance.
The 26-year-old won in two hours, 20 minutes, nine seconds and led a clean sweep for the Ethiopians on the podium as Hiwot Gebrekidan took second, one minute, 14 seconds behind, with third place going to Helen Tola at two minutes, 56 seconds back.
"Although it was my first marathon, I was running to win,"
said Gebreslase, the world youth champion over 3000m in 2011.
Adola, 30, celebrated the first major marathon win of his career having finished second to Kipchoge in Berlin four years ago on his debut over the distance. To read more about this story, you can visit Ethiopians shine at Berlin marathon as Bekele falls short of target.
September 26, 2021