The Ethiopian athlete Yihunilign Adane, with a time of 2:05:52, and his compatriot Meseret Gebre Dekebo, with a time of 2:23:11 They have set new records in the men’s and women’s categories of the Zurich Barcelona Marathon, which was held this Sunday on the usual street circuit of the Catalan capital. With some 8,000 runners at the starting line – some 2,000 women – the test started at 8:00 a.m.with a temperature of 15ºC and a humidity of 57%.

But not even the heat has been able to with the Ethiopian athletes, who have given quite a recital. In the men’s category, Adane, 26, who arrived in Barcelona with a best time of 2:06:22 (Dubai 2020)had a very intelligent race and was in a tight group of about twenty runners who set the pace from the start.

In the passage of the half marathon, with 1h.02:54, it was already 12 seconds below the record achieved by Kenyan Samuel Kosgei last year. Precisely Kosgei and the legendary Abel Kirui, led the group where Adane was. After kilometer 30, the ‘hares’ stopped shooting and the pace with 1:29:26 was already 23 seconds below the record. That’s where the hostilities began, with an attack by the Kenyan Mike Boit, winner of this year’s Granollers Half Marathon, who went ahead of the group and left the favorites 20 seconds behind.

Before passing through kilometer 40, Adane overtook Boit in the lead and only his compatriot Gebru Redahne held his pace, but he was unable to pass him. ADane stopped the clock at the finish line in 2:05:53, ten seconds below Kosgei’s record last year (2:06:03). The second position on the podium went to Redahgne, with 2:05:58, and the Ethiopian Kebede Wami was third with 2:06:03. The Valencian Juan Gimemo has been the first Spaniard with 2h.26:20, in nineteenth position.

The festival of Ethiopian athletes has been joined the 29-year-old runner Meseret Gebre Dekebo, winner of the 2021 San Sabastián Marathon where she achieved her personal best (2h.27:36). Dekebo has had a great race and has set a new record for the test with a time of 2h.23:11, lowering in 42 seconds the mark that last year established his compatriot Tadu Teshome, with 2h.23:53.

A group of ten African runners set the pace from the start, cwith two level ‘hares’ like Alejandro Rodríguez and the Ugandan Bernard Cheptoch, who has completed the entire journey with Dekebo. That group went through the half marathon with a time of 1:11:34, 34 seconds short of Teshome’s recordwith Meseret Dekebo and the big favourite, Tadelech Bekele Alemu, leading the way.

Already at kilometer 30, the winner and her compatriot Ayantu Kumela went on to lead the race and Tadelech Bekele began to have physical problems and was almost 3 minutes from the head. With Bernard Cheptoch setting a high pace and pulling her along, Meseret Dekebo was already ahead of the group after passing kilometer 35 and prevailing with a time of 2:23:11, 42 seconds below the previous year’s record and also four minutes below his personal mark. Ayantu Kumela, 25, was second at almost two minutes with 2:25:00, and Zenebu Fikadu, third with 2:25:11. Tadelech Bekele was fifth with 2:30:04. The first Spaniard was the Catalan athlete Silvia Segura, sixteenth with a time of 2:56:39.

Results of the 43rd Zurich Barcelona Marathon

Male Category

1. Yihuniligne Adane Ethiopia 2:05:53

2. Gebru Redahgne Ethiopia 2:05:58

3. Kebede Wami Ethiopia 2:06:03

4. Mike Boit Kenya 2:06:08

5. Felix Kibitok Kenya 2:06:28

Female Category

1. Meseret Gebre Dekebo Ethiopia 2h.23:11

2. Ayantu Kumela Ethiopia 2h.25:00

3. Zenebu Fikadu Ethiopia 2:25:11

4. Zerfie Limeneh Ethiopia 2h:27:05

5. Tadelech Bekele Ethiopia 2h.30:04

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