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.


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.


Written by How Africa

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