Ethiopians Yimer and Wereta Clinch Victory with Huge Personal Bests at Seoul Marathon

Posted by: Watch Athletics

Jemal Yimer emerged victorious in a thrilling sprint to the finish of the men's race, as Fikrte Wereta comfortably won the women's race, ensuring an Ethiopian sweep at the Seoul Marathon this Sunday.

Both runners celebrated their biggest victories of their careers, with Yimer, a two-time fourth-place finisher at the world half marathon, improving his marathon personal best by almost three minutes to 2:06:08, and Wereta setting a new personal record of 2:21:32.

Starting at Gwanghwamun Square in the heart of Seoul and finishing at the Jamsil Sports Complex in the south, the race attracted 38,000 runners from 79 different countries.

Initiated in 1931, the Seoul Marathon has recently seen Ethiopian runners clinch the men's division title for three years in a row.

In the men's competition, a large pack remained together until past the 30km mark, where Yimer was among seven athletes who broke away. Until then, the 27-year-old had conservatively remained within the group, reaching the 10km mark at 29:43 and the 20km at 59:54.

The pace was steady as Yimer and 12 others reached the 25km mark together at 1:14:37, with the lead pack hitting 30km at 1:29:35.

Yimer's fellow countryman, Guye Adola, the 2021 Berlin Marathon winner, appeared dominant up to that point, alternating the lead with Kenya's Mike Kiptum Boit. However, Adola fell behind over the next few kilometers as the pace increased.

Seven runners then advanced, with six staying close together as they passed 35km in 1:44:27.

As they reached the 40km mark in 1:59:19, Yimer was in the company of Balew Yihunie Derseh, Boit, and Kenyans Edwin Kiptoo and Rhonzas Lokitam Kilimo.

Boit, who had led for much of the race, fell back as Kilimo, Kiptoo, and Yimer pushed ahead.

Yimer executed his final sprint flawlessly, breaking away in the last corner. He looked back, leaving Kilimo and Kiptoo behind, celebrating as he crossed the finish line in 2:06:08, with Kilimo and Kiptoo trailing by one and two seconds, respectively.

In the women's race, an initial group of nine, including male runners, set a fast pace but slowed to reach 10km in 33:28, led by Kenya's Celestine Chepchirchir.

Desi Jisa Mokonin of Bahrain, the 2019 champion, also led for portions of the race, reaching 15km in 50:25 and 20km in 1:07:29.

As the race progressed, an eight-athlete group reached 30km in 1:41:05. At this point, a decisive move was made, mirroring the men's race dynamics.

Jisa, Wereta, Kenya's Visiline Jepkesho, and Ethiopia's Betelihem Afenigus Yemer broke away. Wereta then took the lead, with her competitors trailing in single file.

Wereta, Jisa, and Yemer were together at 35km, with Jepkesho slightly behind. Wereta then increased her lead, reaching 40km 23 seconds ahead of her closest pursuer.

She continued to extend her lead, finishing 47 seconds ahead of the runner-up, crossing the finish line in 2:21:32.

Jisa clinched second place in 2:22:19, with Jepkesho overtaking Yemer in the final stretch to secure third place with times of 2:22:52 and 2:23:20, respectively. Ethiopia's Yebrgual Melese finished fifth in 2:23:43.

Latest News
©2024 WATCHATHLETICS.COM. All rights reserved.