Ethiopian Gebrselassie wins at Belgrade Marathon

16:57, April 18, 2011      

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Gebrselassie Tsegaye of Ethiopia crosses the finish line of the 24th Belgrade International Marathon race in Belgrade, Serbia on April 17, 2011. Tsegaye won the title in 2 hours 14 minutes and 41 seconds.(Xinhua)

African runners continued their dominance at the annual Belgrade Marathon on Sunday with Gebrselassie Tsegaye of Ethiopia crossing the finish line in 2:14: 41.

Frashiah Nyambura Waithaka of Kenya took first place for the women's category in 2:34:31.

An estimated 20,000 recreational runners joined the 1,836 marathoners from 35 countries at the starting line before Belgrade 's St. Mark Church. The event was officially opened by retired marathon runner Rosa Maria Correia dos Santos Mota of Portugal, considered one of the best female runners of the 20th century. The marathon route which takes runners over the Sava River follows a largely flat terrain, with two demanding hills at the beginning and end.

"This race was for me a great challenge," said Tsegave, citing windy conditions as a significant factor during the race. "I had a crisis at the 30th kilometer, but after that I separated (from the pack) and finished easily."

About four minutes later, Michael Rutto Chetoo from Kenya came second. Tadele Geremew Mulugeta of Ethiopia followed closely in third. Two Ethiopian women followed the leader Waithaka of Kenya. Meseret Debele came second and Mulu Seboka in third.

The course record of 2:10:54 was set by Japhet Kosgei from Kenya in 2006.

Emergency services in Belgrade reported 17 interventions during the marathon, with 11 runners taken to hospital with minor injuries, including twisted ankles, muscle cramps and runners collapsing from exhaustion.

Source: Xinhua

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