Ethiopia’s Sore Abdissa and Kenya’s Salina Jebet Kosgei triumphed at the sixth edition of the Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes Nice-Cannes, an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race, on Sunday (10).
Abdissa was neck-and-neck with his compatriot Edeo Telo over the final kilometre but Abdissa, a former Ethiopian 1500m international, showed that he still had a turn of speed left in his legs to come home half a stride in front.
Both Abdissa and Telo were given the same time of 2:13:58 with Wosen Zeleke making it an Ethiopian clean sweep of the podium positions when he came home third in 2:14:13.
The leading trio were part of a large group which went through the halfway point in 1:06.13.
Six men were still together at 30km, which was passed in 1:34.28, but then Abdissa and Telo soon started to leave their rivals, locked in their private duel for supremacy.
Eritrean race favourite Yared Sharew, the fastest man in the field with a best of 2:08:10, was up with the leaders at the halfway point but started to struggle after 25km and finished a disappointing eighth in 2:19:28.
Jebet Kosgei, the 2002 Commonwealth Games 10,000m champion who can boast of a Marathon best of 2:23:22 from 2006, won the women’s race somewhat more easily than Sori.
She crossed the line in 2:41:34, almost a minute in front of Ethiopia’s Genet Teka who was second in 2:42:32.
The hot and breezy conditions during the race, which runs along the Mediterranean, quickly ruled out any possibility of fast times.
The race was watched by an estimated 100,000 spectators and with an entry of more than 8600, it is the second biggest Marathon in France.
Organisers for the IAAF