Beijing – The 35th edition of Beijing International Marathon women’s race turned out to be a duel between two Ethiopian runners. Abebech Afework and Betelhem Moges paced the race soon after the start and the 24-year-old Moges, who has a PB of 2:24:29, built up a sole lead in the final 10 kilometres.
She kept extending her advantage during the last few kilometres and took the victory in 2:27:31.
The 24-year-old Afework, who also improved her PB in Dubai this year when finishing ninth in 2:23:33, came home second in 2:29:12.
Sin Yong Sun of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea clocked a PB of 2:31:31 to finish third, beating her previous PB of 2:32:49 set in Pyongyang in April.
Running down the pre-race favourite who is almost half his age, 41-year-old Kenyan veteran Mariko Kiplagat Kipchumba won the 35th edition of Beijing International Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, ending a three-year Ethiopian winning streak.
Kipchumba stayed in the leading group from the start of the race and clocked 2:11:00 to reach the finish line first. Although his winning time is five minutes shy of his 2:06:05 PB and more than three minutes outside the course record set two years ago by Ethiopia’s 2013 world bronze medallist Tadese Tola, it was a season’s best for Kipchumba.
Pre-race favourite Berhanu Shiferaw of Ethiopia, the fastest man in the field with a PB of 2:04:48, came home second in 2:11:37, 36 seconds slower than the season’s best he set in Seoul in March. Zimbabwe’s Wirimai Juwawo, the 15th-place finisher at the 2012 Olympics, finished third in 2:14:25.