23 APR 2011 General News Belgrade, Serbia

Fighting strong winds, Tsege and Waithaka take Belgrade Marathon victories

Gebrselassie Tsegaye takes the 2011 Belgrade Marathon crown (Organisers)Gebrselassie Tsegaye takes the 2011 Belgrade Marathon crown (Organisers) © Copyright
High winds blew away any chance of fast times in the 24th Belgrade Marathon today (17), but Gebrselassie Tsege of Ethiopia made the best of the conditions, and was a distant winner of the men’s race, in 2:14:41. Michael Rutto of Kenya was second in 2:18:13, with Tadele Geremew, another Ethiopian in third place, in 2:19:26.
 
In the women’s race, Kenyan Frasiah Waithaka upset the Ethiopian favourites, when she won in 2:34:31, ahead of Mulu Seboka, 2:34:38, and Meseret Hailu, 2:35:14.
 
Tsegaye, 27, was always in the men’s leading group, and though he said afterwards that he had experienced some discomfort at 30k, when he conceded the lead to Rutto, the Ethiopian gathered his forces shortly afterwards, caught the group, and pulled away from his pursuers a few minutes later, building up a winning lead of close to four minutes by the end.
 
“This race posed a great challenge,” he said immediately after his win. “I suffered a crisis at the 30th km, after which I managed to take the lead and have an easy finish. The wind prevented me from achieving a better result, but I am happy with the victory.”
 
In contrast, Waithaka only pulled away in the final stages of the women’s race and, despite the conditions, clocked a personal best time.
 
Local hero Olivera Jevtic failed to score an eighth victory in the Half Marathon. She could only finish third in 1:13:12, behind the victory of Ehitu Kiros of Ethiopia, who clocked 1:12:35. Men’s winner was another Ethiopian, Adugna Tekele, in 1:03:46.

Pat Butcher (organisers) for the IAAF

Leading Results:
MEN -
 1. Gebrselassie Tsegaye, ETH        2.14.41
 2. Michael Rutto, KEN               2.18.33
 3. Tadele Geremew, ETH              2.19.26
 4. Negash Abebe, ETH                2.19.27
 5. Silas Muturi, KEN                2.19.39
 6. Tesfaye Bekele, ETH              2.20.30
 7. Elias Kiptum, KEN                2.20.53
 8. Gebreegziabhar Gebrselassie, ETH 2.22.40
 9. John Maluni, KEN                 2.22.50
10. Bruce Kilulai, KEN               2.34.31
 
Women
 
1. Frasiah Waithaka, KEN    2.34.31
2. Meseret Hailu, ETH       2.34.38
3. Mulu Seboka, ETH         2.35.14
4. Aberash Nesga, ETH       2.35.18
5. Lucia Kimani, BIH        2.36.57
6. Birzaf Takele, ETH       2.40.48