Ethiopia’s Kebede wins Fukuoka marathon (AFP)

December 6th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

FUKUOKA, Japan — Beijing Olympic bronze medallist Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia bettered his personal best time to win the Fukuoka international men’s marathon for a second year running on Sunday. (more…)

FUKUOKA, Japan — Beijing Olympic bronze medallist Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia bettered his personal best time to win the Fukuoka international men’s marathon for a second year running on Sunday.

The 22-year-old Kebede left the last challenger and compatriot, Dereje Tesfaye, at around the 33-kilometre mark and made a long solo running to cross the finishing line in two hours five minutes 18 seconds.

“I was able to run faster than I had expected. I’m very, very happy about it,” said Kebede, whose previous best time was 2:05:20 set at the London marathon this season.

It was the ninth fastest time in the world and a new meet record, beating the previous mark of 2:06:10 he set when he won the same event last season.

“It’s difficult to express my feelings in a few words (about the record). I just keep rewriting my personal best this season. I have no more words to say,” he said.

A front-running group of eight men were reduced to four men at the 28km point, including Kebede, Evans Cheruiyot of Kenya, Tekeste Kebede of Ethiopia and Tesfaye.

Tsegaye Kebede moved up his gear at the 30km mark, leaving Cheruiyot and Tekeste Kebede behind, and then slowly and steadily took the sole lead ahead of Tesfaye.

Tekeste Kebede came in second in 2:07:52, followed by 2005 Fukuoka champion Dmytro Baranovskyy of Ukraine third in 2:08:19.

Tesfaye was fourth in 2:08:36 and Cheruiyot fifth in 2:09:46.

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