(Xinhua) -- Ethiopian runners swept
top three in both men’s and women’s competition at the 2017
Xiamen International Marathon here on Monday.
Berhanu claimed the men’s title in 2 hours 8 minutes and 27
seconds, and his compatriot Meseret Mengistu Biru became the
women’s champion in 2:25:58.
About 30,000 runners from 31 countries and regions took part
in the first IAAF Gold Label Road Race of the new year,
including some 24,885 men and 5,115 women.
The organizing committee invited 27 high level athletes from
Kenya, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Belarus, Eritrea and Algeria to
compete in the 15th anniversary of the event.
Lemi Berhanu, the winner of the 2016 Boston Marathon with
2:12:45, took the lead from the start with his countrymen and
beat all the other runners to take the gold, but he didn’t break
the course record and the Chinese all-comers’ record of 2:06:19
set by Kenya’s Moses Mosop in 2015.
The Ethiopian got a prize money of 40,000 US dollars.
"The course is very hard with a lot of rises and falls," the
22-year-old explained why he couldn’t make the breakthrough as
he said in the pre-match press conference, "and the weather is
The 22-year-old got the first place at the 2014 Zurich
Marathon on his debut and went on to win in Dubai and Warsaw,
before created his personal best at 2:04:33 at the 2016 Dubai
Marathon. Berhanu represented his country and ranked the 13th at
the Rio Olympic Games in 2:13:29.
Mosinet Geremew crossed the line in 2:10:20 to be the
runner-up, while Shura kitata took the third place in 2:10:36.
In the women’s race, the Ethipians also proved to be the
dominant force with a comfortable top three finish. 2015 Paris
Marathon winner Meseret Mengistu Biru completed in 2:25:58 to
dent Workenesh Edesa’s hope of retain the title of the race.
Edesa set her PB of 2:24:04 in last year’s edition but
clocked 2:26:27 to be the runner-up this time, while Tola Melkam
Gizaw took the third in 2:26:47.
"I am happy to be the champion," said Mengistu, "But it’s a
pity that I didn’t break my personal record. The day is hot and
the slopes in the return course is hard."
The 26-year-old said her next aim is to compete at the 2017
You Peiquan touched the line first among all the Chinese
runners, the runner told Xinhua that he finished in about two
hours and 33 minutes by his own watch.