FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BELGRADE MARATHON REPORT
High winds blew away any chance of fast times in the 24th Belgrade Marathon
today (Sunday), but Gebrselassie Tsege of Ethiopia made the best of the
conditions, and was a distant winner of the men's race, in 2.14.41. Michael
Rutto of Kenya was second in 2.18.13, with Tadele Geremew, another
Ethiopian in third place, in 2.19.26.
In the women's race, Kenyan Frasiah Waithaka upset the Ethiopian
favourites, when she won in 2.34.31, ahead of Mulu Seboka, 2.34.38, and
Meseret Hailu, 2.35.14.
Tsegaye, 27, was always in the men's leading group, and though he said
afterwards that he had experienced some discomfort at 30k, when he conceded
the lead to Rutto, the Ethiopian gathered his forces shortly afterwards,
caught the group, and pulled away from his pursuers a few minutes later,
building up a winning lead of close to four minutes by the end.
"This race posed a great challenge," he said immediately after his win. "I
suffered a crisis at the 30th km, after which I managed to take the lead
and have an easy finish. The wind prevented me from achieving a better
result, but I am happy with the victory".
In contrast, Waithaka only pulled away in the final stages of the women's
race and, despite the conditions, clocked a personal best time.
Local hero Olivera Jevtic failed to score an eighth victory in the half
marathon. She could only finish third in 1.13.12, behind the victory of
Ehitu Kiros of Ethiopia, who clocked 1.12.35. Men's winner was another
Ethiopian, Adugna Tekele, in 1.03.46.