Dibaba winning the 2018 Tokyo Marathon (AFP)
Tokyo, Japan – Ethiopia’s Berhane Dibaba and Dickson Chumba of Kenya captured convincing victories at the Tokyo Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, here today.
Dickson, who won here in 2015, clocked 2:05:30 to take his second Tokyo title while Dibaba joined the sub-2:20 club with her 2:19:51 run to also capture her second Tokyo crown. Both runners became the first man and woman to ever win a second Tokyo Marathon title.
Chumba’s winning time was the second fastest in race history, behind the course record of 2:03:58 set by Wilson Kipsang last year.
In the women’s race, Dibaba’s winning time of 2:19:51 was also the second fastest time in race history, behind the 2:19:47 course record Sara Chepchirchir set last year. Dibaba also became the 26th runner to crack 2:20 for the distance.
By 20 kilometres, the lead pack was reduced to four runners –Dibaba, her compatriots Ruti Aga and Shure Demise, and Amy Cragg of the US. Demise began to drift back, leaving a trio in contention 10 kilometres later.
Cragg was the next to drop back after Dibaba’s 16:26 split between kilometres 30 and 35. The next five kilometres were even faster at 16:22, dropping Ruti.
“The weather was great and my leg also felt great,” said Dibaba, whose previous best was 2:21:19 set in Tokyo last year. “At 35km I thought I could win this race.”
Aga held on for second in 2:21:19 with Cragg crossing the line third in 2:21:42, slicing more than five minutes from her previous personal best. Aga’s time equalled the third fastest performance in race history while Cragg’s was the sixth fastest.