Ethiopian runners Asefa Negewo and Shitaye Debellu won the he 2016 Inaugural Free State O.R Tambo Marathon, men and women’s titles, respectively.

By Percy Nkatlo |

Ethiopians dominated the 2016 Inaugural Free State O.R Tambo Marathon in Bloemfontein in the province of Free State, South Africa.

Both the women and men 42.2 kilometer races were won by Ethiopians. Asefa Negewo claimed victory in the men’s race, while his compatriot, Shitaye Debellu, won the women’s race.

A large field turned up for the marathon with categories in the 42.2 kilometer, the 21.1 half-marathon and the 10 kilometers races.

Runners from as far as Ethiopia, Kenya and those from neighboring countries were also in the field.

The 350 000 prize money was up for grabs for winners of the 42.2 kilometers races.

Ethiopia’s Sintayehu Yinesu, winner of the 2015 Soweto Marathon, was among the leading group of men in the elite race half way through.

Lesotho’s Teboho Sello was setting the pace upfront with the group passing the half-way point in a slow time of one hour 14 minutes 14 seconds. But it was Sintayehu Yinesu who led a breakaway group of five men heading to the finish.

Entering the Dr Molemela stadium where the race was to end, a battle for first place took place between Sintayehu Yinesu and Asefa Negewo.

Asefa Negewo came out tops, finishing in two hours 11 minutes 12 seconds with Sintayehu Yinesu settling for second place.

Shitaye Debellu finished in two hours 43 minutes and three seconds winning the women’s race. Chelitu Asefa, also from Ethiopia, came second.

Source: SABC News
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