DAP’s Lemi Berhanu and Aselefech Mergia make double for Ethiopia at the 2015 Dubai Marathon in both men and women’s race

 

Ethiopia’s Lemi Berhanu is the unexpected winner at the 2015 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, cutting the tape in a world-leading time and a big personal best of 2h05’28” on Friday 23.
This time it was not a victory of a debutant as we have seen for the past three years but it was definitely a surprise as the 21-year-old Ethiopian left behind some of the biggest names in long-distance running surging ahead of them all at the 30km mark. No one seemed to have enough to slow the Ethiopian who kept going with five countrymen at his company: Robi, Lemma, Lelisa, Girmay Birhanu and Lemi Berhanu.

With five kilometers to go the duel between Desisa, and Lemi Berhanu developed and the latter found the extra gear to drop the much more experienced Desisa with about one kilometer to go who in the end had to settle for second place in 2h05’52”.

“I would never have thought that I could win this race. It was my dream to do this in Dubai one day, but not this year! With around one kilometer to go, I sensed that I could succeed." ,” said Hayle Lemi Berhanu at the end of the race not hiding his happiness.


In the women’s race the Demadonna Athletic Promotions contingent made a complete sweep, but it was Aselefech Mergia making it a perfect day for Ethiopia by producing a perfect comeback.
Having been for long time out from competition to have a baby, Mergia returned to run a marathon for the first time since her disappointing 42nd place at the 2012 Olympics and won in 2h20’02”, just 31 seconds off her course record set while winning this same race three years ago.

In a thrilling battle right to the line, Kenya’s world half marathon champion Gladys Cherono finished second in 2h20’03" beaten by just one second at the line. Another Kenyan, Lucy Kabuu, was third in 2h20’21” in a race which saw 10 women run faster than 2:24.

“I told myself after having my daughter that I could win a marathon again,” said Mergia, who was watched by her husband and baby daughter.

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