Tamirat Tola breaks course record while Kenenisa Bekele drops out, debutant Worknesh Degefa takes women’s race
Tamirat Tola is the surprise winner of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon. The 25 year-old Ethiopian took the race with a course record of 2:04:11, improving his personal best by more than two minutes. Fellow-Ethiopians Mule Wasihun and Sisay Lemma finished in second and third positions with 2:06:46 and 2:08:04respectively.
The big pre-race favourite Kenenisa Bekele, who aimed to break the world record of 2:02:57, suffered a major disappointment. Falling right at the start after being tripped from behind he lost contact to the leading group before the 10 k mark. The Ethiopian, who missed the world record by six seconds in Berlin last September, then dropped out at around 23 k and was seen holding his left calf.
There was an upset in the women’s race as well: 26 year-old debutant Worknesh Degefa secured her biggest career win with a time of 2:22:36. It was an all-Ethiopian podium as well. Shure Demise was second in 2:22:57 and Yebrgual Melese took third with 2:23:13.
Both winners established world leading times and collected 200,000 Dollars each. All times are still unofficial.