Ethiopia’s Askale set Dubai record
Ethiopia’s Askale Tafa Magarsa broke the Dubai Marathon women’s record on Friday and Kenya’s William Rotich won the men’s title.
Askale, the pre-race favorite, demolished Albina Ivanova’s five-year old record by more than six minutes.
Askale won in 2 hours, 27 minutes, 19 seconds, beating her previous best by 38 seconds.
It was a clean sweep for Ethiopia in the women’s race. Abebe Eda was second in 2:35:39 – more than eight minutes behind Askale – and Adanech Jemilu took third in 2:39:28.
“I am very happy, but I also think I could have gone a lot quicker, the weather was just perfect,” said Askale, who received the winner’s check of US$30,000 (Â¤23,100).
“My aim is to break the world record and to compete for my country at the (2008) Olympics in Beijing,” the 22-year-old said.
Kenya swept the men’s race which Rotich won in 2:09:53. It was only the second time an athlete broke the 2 hours, 10 seconds barrier in the eight-year history of the event.
Joseph Wambua of Kenya was second in 2:10:34 – 41 seconds behind Rotich -while his countryman Musa Ruta Kanda was third in 2:10:40.
Defending champion Joseph Ngeny finished more than two minutes quicker than last year but still had to settle for fifth place.
“It’s a great result for me. I made the move about 35 kilometers into the race and managed to get away from the others,” Rotich said.
More than 650 participants took part in the marathon which went along Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Road and past the glitzy Burj Al Arab hotel.