Paris marathon

Kenya's Rotich and Ethiopia's Memuye stride to victory in Paris marathon

 Elisha Rotich celebrates after winning the elite men's race and setting a new record
Elisha Rotich celebrates after winning the elite men's race and setting a new record REUTERS - GONZALO FUENTES

Kenya's Elisha Rotich has won the men's race and Tigist Memuye from Ethiopia topped the women's podium at the Paris Marathon on Sunday; the competition had been delayed by six months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Kenyan Rotich produced his best ever performance for a personal best time in his 14th marathon, smashing his previous mark by exactly one. The previous record, set by Kenenisa Bekele had stood for 19 years in Paris.

Rotich set a course record as he crossed the line in two hours four minutes 21 seconds to finish ahead of Ethiopia's Hailemaryam Kiros.

The 31-year-old Kenyan took nearly a minute off his personal best and broke Kenenisa Bekele's seven-year course record of 2:05:04 as he picked up pace after the 25-kilometre mark.

Kenya's Hillary Kipsambu came third after slipping two spots in the final stages of the race.

In the women's race, Memuye ran a time of two hours 26 minutes and 12 seconds after a late surge to seal the biggest win of her career.

Memuye finished about three seconds ahead of Yenenesh Dinkesa with Fantu Jimma third as Ethiopians swept the podium.

Tigist Memuye crossing the winning line, just seconds ahead of Yenenesh Dinkesa
Tigist Memuye crossing the winning line, just seconds ahead of Yenenesh Dinkesa REUTERS - GONZALO FUENTES

The Paris Marathon, featuring 60,000 participants from 145 countries, was initially scheduled for April this year – as per usual – but was delayed due to the health crisis.

The race was cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic.

(with Reuters)

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