Abdi Nageeye Regaines the Rotterdam Marathon Title

Posted by: Watch Athletics

Olympic silver medallist Abdi Nageeye from the Netherlands won the men’s race for the second time in his career at the NN Rotterdam Marathon improving his own Dutch record by 11 seconds to 2:04:45 on a sunny day. 

Nageeye regained the Rotterdam Marathon title two years after his first triumph in this race in 2:04:56. The Dutch runner of Somalian origin beat Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn (2:04:50), while two-time Tokyo Marathon winner Birhanu Legese finished third in 2:05:16. 

The trio formed part of a group that went through the 10 km mark in 29:06 and the 15 km in 43:48. A pack of nine runners reached the 20 km in 58:31. 

Four athletes remained in contention reaching the 35 km mark in 1:42:54. Nageeye, Walelegn and Legese were joined by Kenneth Kipkemoi. 

Kipkemoi was unable to keep up the pace and dropped back as Nageeye, Walelegn and Legese went through the 40 km in 1:58:12. 

Nageeye and Walelegn dropped Legese and ran a neck and neck race in the final 2 km. Nageeye ran behind his Ethiopian rival before launching his final kick in the final km to claim the win to the delight of home fans. 

Nageeye crossed the finish-line with a gap of five seconds over Walelegn, who finished runner-up in 2:04:50. Legese took third place in 2:05:16. Kipkemoi, who had promised to run the race of his life in honour of late world record holder Kelvin Kiptum, was the best-placed Kenyan in fourth place in 2:05:43 ahead of his compatriot Enock Onchari (2:06:07). 

Ethiopia’s Ashete Bekere won the women’s race in 2:19:30 ahead of Viola Kibiwot (2:20:57) and Sally Kaptich (2:22:47). Bekere had previously won two top marathon races in Valencia in 2018 in 2:21:14 and in Berlin in 2019 in 2:20:14. 

A quartet formed by Ashere Bekere, her compatriot Sisay Meseret Gola and Kenyan runners Selly Chepyego and Viola Kibiwot went through the 10 km in 32:42. They ran at a course record pace at 15 km in 48:48, 20 km in 1:05:11 and 25 km in 1:21:23. 

Bekere built a eight-second lead at 30 km, reaching that mark in 1:37:48. The Ethiopian athlete reached the 35 km mark in 1:54:25. 

Bekere slowed in the final stages of the race, reaching the 40 km in 2:11:52. She held on to win in 2:19:30, setting the fourth fastest time in her career. 

A minute of silence was held before the race in honour of late world record holder Kelvin Kiptum, who died in a tragic car accident last February. Kiptum was hoping to become the first man to break the two hours barrier in Rotterdam. Bib number 1, which was assigned to Kiptum, was not used. Many athletes wore black ribbons in his memory.


1Abdi NageeyeNED2:04:45
2Amedework WalelegnETH2:04:50
3Birhanu LegeseETH2:05:16
4Kenneth KipkemoiKEN2:05:43
5Enock OnchariKEN2:06:07
6Lameck TooKEN2:06:29
7Godadaw BelachewISR2:07:45
8Ghirmay GhebreslassieERI2:09:13
9Nekagenet CrippaITA2:09:41
10Stan NiestenNED2:10:10


1Ashete BekereETH2:19:30
2Viola KibiwotKEN2:20:57
3Selly Chepyego KaptichKEN2:22:46
4Emily ChebetKEN2:24:49
5Pascalia JepkogeiKEN2:24:56
6Thalia ValdiviaPER2:25:23
7Sisay Meseret GolaETH2:25:27
8Maor TiyouriISR2:26:39
9Zhanna MamazhanovaKAZ2:26:42
10Sakiho TsutsuiJPN2:26:51
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