Sunday, April 25, 2010
Tsegaye Kebede who has been flirting with winning the London Marathon finally earned a huge breakthrough victory by actually winning it. I would venture to say this is the biggest of the major marathon races and is usually decided on a last minute sprint (last year Tsegaye lost to Wanjiru by 10 seconds) but this year Tsegaye won by more than a minute and just 5 seconds off the course record set last year. He ran an impressive 2:05:15 which is the 4th fastest time ever run by an Ethiopian. His half marathon split was 1:03:07 which means he ran the second half at 1:02:08 for a strong finish. Tsegaye becomes only the second Ethiopian to win the London Marathon. The other winner was Gezahegne Abera in 2003.
Since 2008 Tsegaye has been a very consistent top 3 finisher in top races. This victory may be a prelude to great things to come and in many ways makes him the top dog Ethiopian marathon runner. At 23 he has a long marathon career a head of him. It is very likely that he would attempt to break the world record in a few years.
The toughest Ethiopian runner Aselefech Mergia came in 3rd in the women's race at London. She was just 38 seconds off the winner. Bizunesh Bekele and Askale Tafa came in 4th and 5th for what I would call an overall impressive Ethiopian day.
Along with the Boston results this makes for an very good week for Ethiopian runners.