Kenyans dethroned by Ethiopians at Paris Marathon


Ethiopia's Abrha Milaw (L) and Ethiopia's Gelete Burka celebrate their victory in the men’s ...
Ethiopia's Abrha Milaw (L) and Ethiopia's Gelete Burka celebrate their victory in the men’s and women’s categories during the podium ceremony of the Paris Marathon on April 14, 2019. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

In Summary

  • Kenya's winning streak in the Paris Marathon is ended by Ethiopian duo of Abraham Milaw and Gelete Burka in the 43rd edition of the race held Sunday in the French capital
  • Kenya was on course for a fifth straight title in the men category while in the women front a fourth consecutive title was at stake

Kenya’s winning streak in the Paris Marathon is ended by Ethiopian duo of Abraham Milaw and Gelete Burka in the 43rd edition of the race held Sunday in the French capital.

Kenya was on course for a fifth straight title in the men category while in the women front a fourth consecutive title was at stake.

Taking to the streets of Paris in a morning characterised by low temperatures (5°C), Pre-race favourite and defending champion Paul Lonyangata was touted as the man to beat moreso as he was in the hunt for a record third consecutive victory.

With Mumbai marathon champion Cosmas Lagat setting the early pace, a pack of six athletes-three Kenyans and three Ethiopians remained to the 35km mark.

Lonyangata, Barselius Kipyego and Morris Gachaga were up against Milaw and his compatriots Asefa Mengistu and Yitahal Atnafu.

With about two kilometres to go, Milaw pulled out of the pack as he strolled to victory in 2:07:05 with Mengistu coming in second in 2:07:25 as Lonyangata who was competing in the back of suffering an arm injury was relegated to third in 2:07:29.

In the women front, Ethiopians sweeped the podium with the little-known Burka-ranked 17 in the world- crossing the finish line in 2:22:47 ahead of her compatriots Azmera Gebru (2:22:52) and Azmera Abreha (2:23:35) who finished second and third respectively.

Kenya’s Sally Chepyego who led the race for the better part came in fourth in 2:23:54 with another Kenyan Kipkoech finishing sixth in 2:26:05.

Men’s results
1 Abraham Milaw-2:07:05
2 Asefa Mengitsu 2:07:25
3 Paul Lonyangata 2:07:29

Women
1 Gelete Burka 2:22:47
2 Azmera Gebru 2:22:52
3 Azmera Abreha 2:23:35

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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