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Ethiopia’s Legese retains men’s title at Tokyo marathon

Tokyo, March 1 (IANS) Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese retained the men’s title here on Sunday at the 2020 Tokyo Marathon, which has been marred by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Tokyo Marathon, one of the world’s biggest marathons, was originally expected to attract 38,000 runners, but was forced to cancel the general public entries due to the epidemic, reports Xinhua news agency.

But thousands of people still gathered along the streets near the finish line in front of Tokyo Station, cheering for some 200 elite runners and wheelchair racers.

Legese, who achieved a personal best of two hours two minutes and 48 seconds at last year’s Berlin Marathon, clocked 2:04:15 for the victory.

Somali-born Belgian Bashir Abdi was second in 2:04:49 and another Ethiopian Sisay Lemma, who finished third in last year’s Berlin Marathon, came in third with a time of 2:04:51.

Japan’s Suguru Osako finished fourth in 02:05:29, which is a new Japanese national record.

Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, who was born in Kenya but has represented Israel since 2016, won the women’s race in 2:17:45, beating last year’s winner Birhane Dibaba of Ethiopia to the second place in 2:18:35.

–IANS

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