Birhanu and Melkamu live up to expectation in Daegu
Girmay Birhanu and Meselech Melkamu lived up to their status as pre-race favourites at the seventh edition of the Daegu Marathon, winning the men’s and women’s races respectively at the IAAF Silver Label Road Race on Sunday (5).
It was the third time in six years that Ethiopia had won both races in Daegu. For both athletes, it marked their second marathon victories of their career.
Birhanu triumphed in 2:07:26, the second-fastest winning time in the history of the race, while Melkamu won in 2:27:24, finishing more than two minutes ahead of her nearest rival.
The women’s race played out in much the same way as the men’s. Melkamu was initially part of a lead group that also included compatriot Dinkinesh Mekash and Japan’s Ayumi Sakaida.
But in the second half, Melkamu forged ahead and built up an unassailable lead, crossing the line in 2:27:24.
Melkamu’s time may have been the slowest of her marathon career so far, but it was her first victory since her triumphant marathon debut in Frankfurt three years ago.
1 Girmay Birhanu (ETH) 2:07:26
2 Stephen Chemlany (KEN) 2:08:21
3 Benjamin Mutai (KEN) 2:08:54
4 Getachew Abayu (ETH) 2:12:50
5 Son Myeong-Jon (KOR) 2:14:46
1 Meselech Melkamu (ETH) 2:27:24
2 Dinkinesh Mekash (ETH) 2:29:44
3 Ayumi Sakaida (JPN) 2:30:39
4 Tomomi Higuchi (JPN) 2:34:33
5 Yeum Ko-Eun (KOR) 2:34:41