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Kenyans, Ethiopians Dominate Marathons in Europe

Kenya’s Valary Aiyabei won the women’s 2019 Frankfurt Marathon on Sunday in Frankfurt, Germany, in a new course record of 2:19:10. Her victory also ensured she became the first woman to win the race in under 2:20:00.

Aiyabei finished ahead of Ethiopians Megertu Alemu, who came second in 2:21:00, and Meskerem Assefa, who was third in a time of 2:22:01.

In 2018, 33-year-old Assefa won the race in 2:20:36 taking off 25 seconds off the course record set by compatriot Meselech Melkamu in 2012.

Meanwhile, Ethiopian Fikre Bekele won the men’s 2019 Frankfurt Marathon in a time of 2:07:08. His compatriots Dawit Arega and Aweke Ayalew clocked 2:07:10 and 2:07:12 respectively to ensure a podium sweep for Ethiopia.

There was more joy across Europe for Ethiopia and Kenya, two nations adept at producing middle- and long-distance runners, as they dominated other races on Sunday.

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Lencho Tesfaye of Ethiopia finished ahead of Kenyans Henry Kiprop and Andrew Kimtai to win the men’s Venice Marathon in Italy. Tesfaye won in 2:10:49 while Kiprop and Kimtai clocked 2:10:55 and 2:11:58 respectively.

Kenya’s Judith Korir won the women’s race in 2:29:20 ahead of fellow Kenyan Cynthia Cherop (2:31:33) and Ethiopian Meka Wake Washo (2:34:36).

In Spain, Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha won the men’s Valencia Half Marathon in 59:05 just edging Kenya’s Bernard Ng’eno who clocked 59:07 and compatriot Jemal Mekonnen, who was third clocking 59:09.

Senbere Teferi from Ethiopia won the women’s race in 1:05:32 beating pre-race favourite Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands who finished in 1:05:53 while Kenya’s Joan Melly was third in 1:06:09.

Teferi wiped 13 seconds off the Ethiopian record she had set at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in Abu Dhabi in February.

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Written by How Africa

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