Dubai – It was yet another day of dominance for Ethiopian athletes at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon as little known Lemi Berhanu Hayle and the sublime Aselefech Mergia swept the board in the world’s richest marathon.
Just 20 years old, Berhanu left some of the biggest names in long distance running trailing and in warm weather conditions clocked a world leading time of 2:05:28 to win by 24 seconds from 2013 Dubai and Boston champion Lelisa Desisa. Deribe Robi completed an-all Ethiopian podium with a time of 2:06:06. Ethiopia’s superstar Kenenisa Bekele dropped out beyond the 30km mark, appearing to suffer from a leg injury.
In the women’s field, Aselefech Mergia celebrated her 30th birthday in style with a perfect comeback, winning the most thrilling finish in the history of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.
The Ethiopian, who had taken time off competition to have a baby, returned to the marathon for the first time since the summer of 2012, winning in 2:20:02. In a duel right to the line, reigning World Half Marathon Champion Gladys Cherono was beaten by just one second on a superb marathon debut, while fellow Kenyan Lucy Kabuu was third in 2:20:21.
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