Ethiopia’s Gebo, Biruktayit win Sydney Marathon
Ethiopia’s Gebo Burka and Biruktayit Eshetu won the Blackmores Sydney Marathon in the IAAF Silver Label Road Race on Sunday.
Biruktayit was the defending women’s champion and won like a champion should, taking down her own course record in the process despite suffering some discomfort from leg cramps in the closing stages of the race, IAAF reported.
Gebo crept into the race almost unnoticed, with others up to four minutes faster than him on best times. But the 27-year-old had already won marathons in Pittsburgh and Los Angeles this year and he showed that winning form is good form as he broke clear of compatriot Seboka Tola over the last five kilometers of the Sydney course.
“I’m very glad with today’s result,” the winner said. “My trainer was aware of the race record and it was something he reminded me of before the start.”
Kenya’s Erick Wainana, a top-10 finisher in three consecutive Olympic marathons, topped by a silver medal at the Sydney 2000 Games, finished in 10th place.
There was no question that Biruktayit Eshetu was the favorite for the women’s race. The fastest of the four entrants with sub-2:30 credentials, she had finished fourth in Houston at the start of the year in 2:26:22.