Ethiopians Lemma and Degefa win 2023 Valencia Marathon


Sisay Lemma made history at the Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso, a World Athletics Elite Platinum Label event, by setting a course record of 2:01:48, securing the fourth position on the men’s all-time list.

In the women’s race, Worknesh Degefa claimed victory with a personal best of 2:15:51, contributing to an Ethiopian double on Sunday.

Lemma crossed the finish line uncontested in 2:01:48, a mere seven seconds shy of Kenenisa Bekele’s national record.

Alexander Mutiso of Kenya overtook Wolde in the final stages, securing second place in a personal best of 2:03:11, with Wolde finishing third on the podium in 2:03:48, also a personal best.

Bekele, surpassing Geay and Kandie in the closing kilometers, achieved an impressive fourth place in 2:04:19, setting a new masters record (M40). The race showcased remarkable depth, with a record-breaking 13 athletes completing the run in under 2:06, and various national records being established.

However, world 10,000m record-holder Cheptegei settled for 37th place in 2:08:59 on his debut over the classic distance.

In the women’s category, Ethiopians dominated, securing a 1-2-3 finish.

Degefa crossed the finish line comfortably below the 2:16 barrier, clocking 2:15:51, an improvement from her previous best of 2:17:41 in 2019, and placing her seventh on the women’s all-time list. Almaz Ayana claimed the runner-up position with a significant improvement in her personal best to 2:16:22, while Hiwot Gebrekidan completed the Ethiopian podium sweep in 2:17:59, beating her previous best by 1:11. Kenya’s Celestine Chepchirchir finished fourth in 2:20:46

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