BERLIN, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) — Ethiopia’s Guye Adola clinched victory in the 47th Berlin Marathon in 2:05:45 on Sunday, finishing ahead of Kenya’s Bethwel Yegon and compatriot Kenenisa Bekele.
After last year’s Berlin Marathon was canceled due to Covid-19, 24,796 runners from 117 countries and regions started this year’s event in clear and warm conditions in Germany’s capital.
Bekele was in search of his third win in Berlin after 2016 and 2019, when he narrowly missed the world record by two seconds, but had to slow down 50 minutes into the race and fell behind the leading group.
Adola and Kenya’s Philemon Kacheran took the front spots and worked out a lead together with the pacemakers, before Bekele recovered and bounced back to get within touching distance of the top group.
After 30km, it was a trio between Adola, Bekele and Yegon. As the race progressed, Bekele and Yegon couldn’t keep up with Adola, who increased the pace even though Eliud Kipchoge’s world record of 2:01:39 was out of reach.
To make things worse for Bekele, Yegon increased the pace as well and moved into second place.
Yegon gained momentum and then surprised Adola too, but the Ethiopian remained unmoved and attacked again before crossing the finish line first, followed by Yegon in 2:06:14 and Bekele in 2:06:47
“I really tried to win. Four years ago, I finished second, and I knew one day I would win this race and now I did it,” Adola said.
Said Bekele, “It was a tough race for me. I couldn’t expect a win here because my preparation wasn’t good enough. I had Covid eight months ago and I already had my doubts. I am now really tired, but I tried my best and took third place,” Bekele said.
In the women’s competition, Ethiopia’s Goytom Gebreslase won in 2:20:09, while compatriot and fastest women in the world this year Hiwot Gebrekidan crossed the line in 2:21:23 to finish second. Helen Tola clocked 2:23:05 to secure third place.