In 2 hours 01 minutes and 48 seconds, Sisay Lemma crushed the Valencia marathon and became the fourth best world performer in history over the distance.
Ethiopian Sisay Lemma won on Sunday the Valencia marathon (Spain) in 2 hours 01 minutes and 48 seconds, an ultra-fast time which makes him the fourth best world performer in history over the distance.
At the same time, he won the Valencia marathon record held since last year by the Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum, who made his remarkable debut over the distance before breaking the world record this fall.
Lemma, 32, beat Kenyan Alexander Mutiso (2h03:11) and Ethiopian Dawit Wolde (2h03:48). Ethiopian running legend Kenenisa Bekele, 41, finished just off the podium in 2h04:19 while Ugandan three-time 10,000 meter world champion Joshua Cheptegei, eagerly awaited for his debut over the distance, quickly fell for finish in 2H08:59.
Degefa wins among women
Among the women, it was the Ethiopian Worknesh Degefa (2h15:51) who won the race, ahead of her compatriots Almaz Ayana (2h16:22) and Hiwot Gebrekidan (2h17:59).
Renowned for its ultra-fast course conducive to good times and its often ideal weather conditions in December, the Valencia marathon brought together many athletes in search of the Olympic minimums (2h08:10 for men and 2h26:50 for women).
In this game, the French shone. Mehdi Frère finishes first Frenchman in 2h05:43, ten seconds ahead of Nicolas Navarro. French record holder Morhad Amdouni as well as Félix Bour and Benjamin Choquert also achieved the minimums.
The French Mekdes Woldu, who came very close to a French record by finishing in 2h24:44, as well as Mélody Julien, Manon Trapp and Fadouwa Ledhem also achieved the minimums for the Games.