Ethiopian Women Dominate Xiamen International Marathon


Worknesh Edesa
Worknesh Edesa (photo:

Worknesh Edesa led an Ethiopian women’s team to victory at the 2016 Xiamen International Marathon today as she finished first in 2:24.04 followed by compatriots Marta Lema (2:24.32) and Fantu Eticha (2:26.53).

The 23-year-old Edesa trimmed more than seven minutes off her best (2:31.06) to claim the women’s title and extending Ethiopia’s winning streak in the women’s race to seven years.

In the men’s race, 28-year-old Vincent Kipruto of Kenya, the 2011 IAAF World Championships marathon silver medalist came out on top at the first IAAF competition of 2016 after a six-man battle over the last 10 kilometres to cross the line in 2:10:18.

“I am so happy with the performance,” said Edesa, who was looking around slightly nervously in the last few hundreds of metres. “At the beginning I pushed the race a lot, after that it became slower, because the course is a bit up and down and it was a little bit windy, that made the second half slower.”

“When we returned back to the bridge, it was very difficult because of the wind. I liked the view, though,” she said, referring to the 2.2km Yanwu Bridge that stretches over the sea and the runners have to go across twice during the race.

Edesa’s compatriot Marta Lema finished 28 seconds behind Edesa in 2:24:32, beating her PB of 2:25:59 set in last September at at another Chinese race, the Hengshui Marathon.

Fantu Eticha completed an all-Ethiopian women’s podium in the coastal city in Fujian province, coming home a distant third in 2:26:53, 39 seconds outside her best.

More than 27,000 runners competed in the Xiamen Marathon this year with another 21,000 taking part in the associated the 5km mass run.

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