Ethiopian duo Ketema and Gobena dazzle in Dubai Marathon


Ethiopia’s Tigist Ketema and Addisu Gobena made history at the Dubai Marathon on Sunday, stunning the athletics world with their record-breaking marathon debuts.

25-year-old Ketema, transitioning from middle-distance running, shattered expectations and the women’s course record with an astonishing time of 2:16:07.

Her victory was not just a personal triumph but a significant milestone, placing her eighth on the world all-time list. This feat was even more impressive considering her background as an 800m and 1500m specialist, previously untested in distances beyond 10km.

Ketema’s race strategy was a masterclass in pacing and endurance. She maintained a close watch on early leaders Dera Dida and Ruti Aga, previous top finishers in Dubai, before making her decisive move in the final 5km. Her surge left her rivals trailing, finishing a remarkable two minutes ahead of runner-up Aga, who clocked in at 2:18:09.

In the men’s race, 19-year-old Gobena, a former javelin thrower turned distance runner, led an Ethiopian sweep with a time of 2:05:01.

His performance, marked by consistent pacemaking, was a testament to his emerging talent in long-distance running. The race, characterized by an aggressive start and a tight competition among the leading pack, saw Gobena pull ahead in the final stages, securing his victory.

Gobena’s win was not just a personal achievement but also a familial triumph, as he is the nephew of women’s race runner-up, Ruti Aga. His transition from javelin throwing to marathon running seems to have been a decision that paid off handsomely.

Both Ketema and Gobena have set the stage for what could be illustrious careers in marathon running, and their performances in Dubai will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the most remarkable debuts in the sport’s history.Leading results

1 Tigist Ketema (ETH) 2:16:07
2 Ruti Aga (ETH) 2:18:09
3 Dera Dida (ETH) 2:19:29
4 Melat Kejeta (GER) 2:21:47
5 Amid Fozya Jemal (ETH) 2:21:53
6 Shitaye Eshete (BRN) 2:21:55
7 Atelel Anmut (ETH) 2:22:23
8 Betelihem Afenigus (ETH) 2:25:57
9 Emebet Niguse (ETH) 2:27:15
10 Nurit Shimels (ETH) 2:28:28

1 Addisu Gobena (ETH) 2:05:01
2 Lemi Dumecha (ETH) 2:05:20
3 Dejane Megersa (ETH) 2:05:42
4 Abdi Fufa (ETH) 2:06:23
5 Samuel Fitwi (GER) 2:06:27
6 Antenayeh Dagnachew (ETH) 2:06:55
7 Douglas Chebii (KEN) 2:08:15
8 Tesfaye Lencho Anbesa (ETH) 2:08:25
9 Bayelign Teshager (ETH) 2:08:56
10 Abebaw Muniye (ETH) 2:09:09

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