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Ethiopia’s Ayana takes Paris win on marathon debut

ETHIOPIA’S Abeje Ayana won the men’s race at the Paris Marathon in his first competitive run over the distance and Kenya’s Helah Kiprop claimed the women’s title.

The 20-year-old Ayana won with a time of two hours, seven minutes and 15 seconds, 20 seconds ahead of compatriot and pre-race favourite Guye Adola with Kenya’s Josphat Boit a further five seconds back in third.

After clocking 59:39 in a half marathon in Poznan, Poland in 2021, Ayana was one of the men to watch on a grey, windy morning in the French capital.

He sped away from a group of four after around 35 kilometres, quickly opening a 20-second gap which he held until the finish line on the Avenue Foch to become the third Ethiopian to win the race in the last four years.

In the women’s race, Kiprop crossed the line in two hours, 23 minutes and 19 seconds after a stunning comeback.

The 37-year-old was lagging more than one minute behind the leading group after 25 kilometres but fought back before outsprinting Ethiopian Atalel Anmut to the line.

Fikrte Wereta of Ethiopia took third place.

By The African Mirror