Ethiopia's Tola wins world men's marathon

·2-min read

Ethiopia's Tamirat Tola produced a decisive kick 8km from the finish line to win gold in the men's marathon at the World Athletics Championships on Sunday.

Tola, who won Olympic 10,000m bronze at the 2016 Rio Games and marathon silver at the 2017 London worlds, clocked a championship record of 2hr 5min 37sec, smashing the previous best of 2:06.54 set by Kenyan Abel Kirui in Berlin in 2009.

"It's a dream come true," Tola said. "I learned from my mistake in 2017 and I made sure it did not happen again."

There was an Ethiopian 1-2 with Mosinet Geremew taking silver, as he also did in the 2019 worlds in Doha, in 2:06.45.

Belgium's Bashir Abdi took bronze a further 4sec adrift.

"I am very happy to make 1-2 for Ethiopia again," said Geremew.

"For next year's world championships (in Budapest), I just pray to be healthy to make the team again."

Tola made his move at the 34km mark, surging ahead of the six-strong chasing pack and quickly building up a 7sec lead, and proceeding to increase that.

In cool, perfect conditions for marathon running, Tola blew away the field, the chasers soon cut to Abdi and Geremew, with Kenya's Geoffrey Kamworor and Canadian Cameron Levins falling off the pace.

The latter pair, however, reeled the podium seekers back in with 4km to go to set up a battle royale for the minor medals, but Geremew turned the screw and only Abdi followed.

Levins eventually finished fourth and Kamworor in fifth.

It was a remarkable result for both Levins, in a national record, and the Kenyan.

Kamworor has had to make a comeback from a potential career-ending accident in June 2020 when he was hit by a motorbike during a training run that left him requiring surgery on a broken tibia.

He rebounded to win the Kenyan Police Cross Country Championships in January 2021 before going on to secure a place on Kenya's Olympic 10,000m team after winning the national trials, only to have to pull out with an ankle injury.

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