Bekele wins debut marathon

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iol spt apr6 Paris marathon Reuters Ethiopia's legendary runner Kenenisa Bekele notched up another impressive milestone in an already glittering career by winning the Paris Marathon, his first attempt at the gruelling event. Photo by: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

Paris – Ethiopia's legendary runner Kenenisa Bekele notched up another impressive milestone in an already glittering career by winning the Paris Marathon, his first attempt at the gruelling event.

The 31-year-old 5,000m and 10,000m world record crossed the line in an event record time of 2hr 5min 02secs after negotiating a sunbathed course of 42.195km (26.22 miles) through the streets of the French capital.

“It was my first marathon and I didn't have much experience,” said the former Olympic champion.

“It was very tough but it was the time I expected. After 25km I pushed alone but it was very tough.”

Bekele emulated his great compatriot Haile Gebreselassie who also made a successful step from the track to marathon and has the third fastet time in history.

Bekele made his move with about 25km to run and opened up a lead that may have been even more significent had he not struggled with what appeared to be a hamstring problem.

He missed out on the world record which is held by Kenyan Wilson Kipsang who set a mark of 2hr 3min 23secs in 2013 at Berlin. – Sapa-AFP


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