Sisay Lemma won the Valencia Marathon in one of the best times in history


Sisay Lemma won the Valencia Marathon in one of the best times in history

Valencia is known around the world for its Fallas, the celebration of festivals, but its popularity shifts from March to December with its exceptional marathon established among the best in the world. The capital of Túria once again experienced another historic day in its streets, starring Sisay Lemma, the 32-year-old Ethiopian who decided to go for marathons without going to the track, something unusual. Lemma won in Valencia with 2h01’48, a new record for the event and the sixth best mark in history, to steal the spotlight from the two legends who accepted the challenge of running in the City of Arts and Sciences, Kenenisa Bekele and Joshua Cheptegei. Two 5,000m and 10,000m record holders who didn’t make the podium, but put on a great show, as they did Worknesh Degefa to win the women’s race with 2h15’51. And if they took the international spotlight, the national spotlight went to them. Tariku Novales (2h05’48) and Majida Mayouf (2h21’27), with sensational Spanish records nine months before attending the Paris 2024 Games.

In marathons it is very important to bet on winning and he knows a lot about that Sisay Lemma, one of the new generation athletes who instead of starting his career on the track decided to focus his life on road events. He debuted eleven years ago with a ‘discreet’ 2h28’14 at the Frankfurt Marathon and, since then, his progress has been meteoric. Winner of a ‘Major’ in London 2021 with 2h04’01 and three more podiums London 2020, Tokyo 2020 and Berlin 2019 (with an exceptional time of 2h03’36). Valencia He used up all his numbers available in May with a full slate of 33,000 participants from all corners of the world (54% foreigners), where 200 of them had times under 2h20′. A level of density so high that it can be seen on the race course, with eleven runners at speeds below the world record of Kelvin Kiptum passed the halfway point of the exam in 1h00’35. At this point, Joshua Cheptegei, a 27-year-old Ugandan, Olympic champion and world record holder in the 5,000m (12’35) and 10,000m (26’11), is still healthy and has the ambition to discover how far his body can go in his debut at the distance of Pheidippides. . “I want to check whether I should continue on the track or I can look for a new stage on the route,” he said the day before its premiere.

As you pass kilometer 25, Lemma he doubled up by increasing the speed to break the race. A prolonged attack that caused damage to the legs of their rivals and left only three athletes with aspirations of victory. After kilometer 30, the hares retreated and the Ethiopian decided to give one last push in an important and dangerous attack that ended up distancing his pursuers. in the back, Kenenisa Bekele He ran with an intelligence that had been with him throughout his career and that led him to become a triple Olympic champion. He made his career from less to more, without entering the game of attacks and ‘hunting’ rivals who died in the attempt. His patience led him to go from outside the top 10 to coming back to fight for the podium in the last ten kilometers.

Tariku Novales, new record for Spain

Sisay Lemma he won alone ahead in 2h01’48 Alexander Mutiso with 2h03’11 and Dawit Wolde, third in 2h03’48. In the fourth position he entered Bekele with 2h04’11 – a world record +40 -, his best performance in the last four years and with the aim of completing another marathon before deciding on the Ethiopian places to run in Paris 2024. He also cannot hide his joy Tariku Novales, who crossed the finish line jubilantly in 2h05’48 “and I had to work a lot,” he said when he finished. “On some streets there was a lot of headwind and it caused us difficulties,” explained the Galician from Ethiopia, who assured that he could have set a better time. Your training partner, Red Iagoalso completed a great performance in his favorite event and further lowered his personal best with 2h07’48 (he had 2h08’56 in the same race in 2021).

Worknesh Degefa won the women’s event with 2h15’51 after battling an exciting rivalry with Almaz Ayana, Olympic 10,000m champion at Rio 2016 with a world record (29’17). Valencia had the participation of more than 6,000 women, an achievement equal to 20% of the total participation and which meets the goal of increasing female representation year by year.

Majida Maayouf broke the Spanish record

Majida Mayouf was the other great Spanish winner of the day by breaking the national record for Marta Galiany (2h26’14) and leave it at 2h21’27, to be fifth overall in Valencia. Maayouf debuted in the style of his Spanish nationality, which was obtained in June of this year (he has lived in Spain since 2011). His participation in Valencia was accompanied by controversy due to information published by Relevo about a positive for doping of Maayouf in 2020 when he was racing as a Moroccan and finished without sanction from the Spanish Anti-Doping Commission. In its part, Fatima Ouhaddou (2h25’30) and Laura Luengo (2h25’35) also ran below the national record and Olympic minimum. Irene Pelayo She was fourth among the Spanish women at the finish line with 2h26’40 and Maria Jose Perez He came in fifth with 2h26’42. Marta Galianywho came into the event with the Olympic minimum on him, will have to face another marathon (guess the Spanish Championship in Seville) to secure his place at Paris 2024 after stopping the clock in 2h28’16, far from his purpose.



Valencia Marathon 42.195km

1) Sisay Lemma 2h01’48
2) Alexander Mutiso 2h03’11
3) Dawit Wolde 2h03’48
4) Kenenisa Bekele 2h04’19
5) Gabriel Geay 2h04’33
6) Kibiwott Kandie 2h04’48
7) Chalu Deso 2h05’14
8) Mohamed Esa Huseydin 2h05’40
9) Mehdi Frere 2h05’43
10) Gashau Ayale 2h05’46

11) Tariku Novales 2h05’48
28) Red Iago 2h07’47
44) Daniel Mateo 2h10’46

1) Worknesh Degefa 2h15’51
2) Almaz Ayana 2h16’22
3) Hiwot Gebrekidan 2h17’59
4) Celestine Chepchirchir 2h20’46
5) Majida Mayouf 2h21’27
6) Sultan Haydar 2h21’27
7) Desi Mokonin 2h22’29
8) Genevieve Gregson 2h23’08
9) Sofia Yaremchuk 2h23’16
10) Isobel Batt-Doyle 2h23’27

22) Fatima Ouhaddou 2h25’30
23) Laura Luengo 2h25’35
35) Irene Pelayo 2h26’40
36) María José Pérez 2h26’42
42) Marta Galimany 2h28’16

Source: La Verdad


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