BEIJING – Mare Dibaba claimed Ethiopia’s first ever gold medal in the women’s marathon at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing in a close finish ahead of Kenya’s Helah Kiprop In an exciting climax to the women’s marathon with four runners entering the stadium together, Mare Dibaba outsprinted Kenya’s Helah Kiprop to claim Ethiopia’s second gold medal of the IAAF World Championships in Beijing.
Unlike the men’s marathon on the opening day of competition which took place in stifling heat and humidity, the conditions were comparatively benign for the women’s race which helped Dibaba, who isn’t related to Genzebe and Tirunesh
“I was scared about that for the marathon race, but this morning the weather changed, it is similar to our country and easy for us to do our own race,” said Dibaba, who was one of the favourites by dint of her win in the Xiamen Marathon in January in 2:19:52.
Dibaba was briefly headed by Kiprop after they entered the stadium but the Ethiopian, who was outsprinted by Caroline Rotich for the Boston Marathon title in April, wasn’t to be denied this time.
Dibaba crossed the finish-line in 2:27:35 to become the first Ethiopian winner of the women’s marathon title at the World Championships. “From now on, I will concentrate on the Rio Olympics in my training,” she confirmed.
Kiprop wasn’t the most fancied of the Kenyan quartet but the runner-up in the Tokyo Marathon finished one second in arrears to claim the silver medal with Bahrain’s Eunice Kirwa third in 2:27:39.
New York Marathon runner-up Jemima Sumgong from Kenya was the unlucky one to miss out on the approach to the stadium in fourth in 2:27:42.
With one second between the first two athletes, four seconds between the medal winners and seven seconds between first and fourth, it was the closest marathon in World Championships history.
Edna Kiplagat’s four-year reign as the world champion came to a close, finishing fifth in 2:28:18. With the pace increasingly markedly, the 35-year-old came under pressure just before the 40km mark and had to relinquish her grip on the title.
London Marathon winner Tigist Tufa was the next to finish in sixth in 2:29:12 with her team-mate Tirfe Tsegaye eighth in 2:30:54.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
News Source – Worldrunning.com