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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Ethiopia’s Gebresles finishes strong, wins world marathon

Eugene, Ore. ( Associated Press) – Ethiopia’s Gottitom Gebresledge patiently outpaced his Kenyan rival until late in the race before winning the women’s marathon at the world championships on Monday.

Gebreslase completed the fast and flat course in a championship-record time of 2 hours, 18 minutes, 11 seconds. He trailed Judith Jeptum Korir, who did most of the work late in the race, by nine seconds.

Kenya-born sprinter Lona Chemtai Salpeter, representing Israel, earned the bronze medal. Sarah Hall led a strong performance by the Americans with fifth place.

It is now back-to-back victories for Ethiopia in the world marathon on the streets of Eugene and Springfield. Tamirat Tola also won in championship-record time the day before.

Korir and Gebresles pulled away from the field around the 17-mile mark (27 kilometres) and soon thereafter extended the interval to about a minute. Korir appeared to be more and more agitated as she did most of the work with Gebresless material to stick her back. Korir held on to Gebresles to help set the blistering pace.

The Ethiopian sprinter held on to the downhill section with about six minutes remaining in the race. She moved fast and ran fast.

On a 50-degree Fahrenheit (10 Celsius) morning, Gebresles broke the championship record of 2:20:57 set by Britain’s Paula Radcliffe in 2005.

The lead pack quickly took off and quickly overtook several men in the 40-runner zone. The race changed color around the 121-mile mark (19 km) when defending champion Ruth Chepangetich of Kenya returned and was soon eliminated.

Hall, 39, grew stronger and stronger during the race to finish in 2:22:10. Emma Bates finished seventh, while American women’s marathon record holder and real estate agent Keira D’Amato finished eighth.

D’Amato was a late replacement for Molly Seidel, who captured the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics last summer. Seidel recently posted on Instagram that she is focusing on her mental health and healing her hip.

Joan Benoit Samuelson, the 1984 Olympic marathon winner, started off the field with a three-loop course on her way that proved to be extremely fast. Racers cruise through a scenic route that is crossed by the Willamette River and the Prey Trail, a bark running trail that honors Oregon track and field icon Steve Prefontaine.

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