|DAP's Tamirat Tola and Worknesh Degefa lead an Ethiopian clean-sweep at the 2017 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on Friday, 20|
Tola took advantage after pre-race favourite Bekele fell to the ground at the starting gun after being tripped accidentally.
The race started out with an early fast pace. A pack of about 6 runners going through halfway in as much as 45 seconds up on world record pace, until in the later stages when Tola detached himself from the rest and eased home in a new course record time of 2h04'11", more than two minutes ahead of compatriots Mule Wasihun, 2h06'46" and Kasaye Sisay Lemma, 2h08'04"; the later being also represented by Demadonna Athletic Promotions.
“The pace was very fast at the start. The 15th kilometer time of 43'26" was much too fast, but when we saw that Kenenisa was well behind, I became more confident." Said Tamirat Tola after receiving his trophy. "I’m happy to win but I think I could have run under 2.04”. He concluded.
In the women’s race, Demadonna's Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia and Marathon debutante took the victory at her first attempt crossing the line in 2h22'36" – the fourth fastest time in the event’s history.
In second place another DAP's represented athlete, Shure Demise who reached the line in 2h22'57" while Yebrgual Melese was third in 2h23'13".
A superlative half-marathoner, Degefa put the extra training distance to good use by running away from all but Demise, one of the pre-race favourites. Demise managed to claw back some of the deficit in the penultimate kilometre, but when she saw Degefa still running strongly, she was forced to settle for second.