Gebrselassie wins in Berlin but misses record

September 20th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

(CNN) — Haile Gebrselassie claimed his fourth victory in the Berlin Marathon but failed to break the world record he set in the German capital in last year’s race. (more…)

(CNN) — Haile Gebrselassie claimed his fourth victory in the Berlin Marathon but failed to break the world record he set in the German capital in last year’s race.

The Ethiopian star had set new global marks in the previous two editions in Berlin, but the warm conditions on Sunday worked against him in the closing stages of the 42.2 kilometer test.

He crossed the finishing line under the Brandenburg Gate in two hours six minutes and eight seconds, two minutes and nine seconds outside his world record.

“It wasn’t marathon weather,” Gebrselassie told reporters at the finish.

“It was too warm in the last 10 kilometers.”

Francis Kiprop of Kenya stayed with Gebrselassie until just before the halfway mark, reached in 61 minutes and 48 seconds, and maintained his effort to claim second place, just under a minute adrift.

Negari Therfa of Ethiopia was third in two hours seven minutes and 41 seconds.

Gebrselassie skipped the marathon at the world championships last month in Berlin to run in the 36th edition of a race he has made his own since winning for the first time in 2006.

Last year, he became the first man to run under two hours four minutes, taking 27 seconds off his previous mark, having decided against going for Olympic gold in Beijing over the classic distance due to pollution fears.

Atsede Besuye completed an Ethipian double by claiming the women’s race in two hours 24 minutes and 47 seconds.

Silvia Skvortsova of Russia was second, with another Ethiopian, Mamitu Daska, in third place.

Over 40,000 runners started the race which has grown in popularity since first being staged in 1974.

In Britain’s Great North Run, Kenya’s Martin Lel won the men’s race over the half marathon distance in 59 minutes 32 seconds.

Lel was forced to miss the defense of his London Marathon title earlier this year due to injury, but showed he is back to his best with a fine run in the mass participation race in the north-east of England which had over 50,000 runners.

Jessica Augusto of Portugal was a surprise winner of the women’s race in 69 minutes and eight seconds.

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