Report15 Oct 2023

Belete and Belet triumph at Amsterdam Marathon


Meseret Belete wins the Amsterdam Marathon (© AFP / Getty Images)

Ethiopia’s Meseret Belete and Kenya’s Joshua Belet were victorious at the TCS Amsterdam Marathon on Sunday (15), winning the World Athletics Platinum Label road race in 2:18:21 and 2:04:18 respectively. Both champions produced the third-fastest winning times ever recorded in the Dutch capital.

Belete smashed her PB by more than two minutes and notched up her second victory of the year, having won in Doha back in January in 2:20:46, her previous lifetime best.

Belet, meanwhile, bounced back from his World Championships withdrawal to record a PB, improving on the 2:04:33 he clocked when finishing second in Hamburg in April.

Belete maintained a remarkably consistent pace throughout, and for most of the way she ran alongside compatriots Meseret Abebayehu and Ashete Bekere, as well as Kenya’s Dorcas Tuitoek.

A large lead pack passed through 5km in 16:27 and 10km in 32:45. About nine runners were still in contention as they passed through the half-way point in 1:09:05. It indicated they were set for a finishing time in the region of 2:18, though Almaz Ayana’s course record of 2:17:20 was perhaps by now slightly out of reach.

By 30km, reached in 1:38:08, there were just four women left in the lead pack – Belete, Abebayehu, Tuitoek and Bekere. They ran together for a further 10 minutes or so, then Belete started to forge a lead.

She didn’t have to increase her pace; she simply maintained it while her last few opponents drifted off it. Belete eventually entered the stadium with a comfortable lead and crossed the line in 2:18:21, winning by 89 seconds.

Abebayehu, winner in Riyadh and Xiamen earlier this year, held on for second place in 2:19:50, smashing her PB by more than four minutes. Tuitoek placed third in 2:20:02.

In the men’s race, a large lead pack covered the opening 5km in 14:54, then sped up to reach 10km in 29:28 and 15km in 44:03. The pack still contained about 12 men as they passed through 20km (58:48) and the half-way point (1:02:01), which was 10 seconds quicker than Tamirat Tola achieved when he set the course record of 2:03:39 in 2021.

The lead pack started to whittle down gradually in the second half. After going through 30km in 1:28:28, Belet made his move and opened up a gap on the rest of the field, one he wouldn’t relinquish.

There were several changes of position among the athletes in the chase pack in the final kilometres, but Belet held on to his lead and went on to win in 2:04:18. Fellow Kenyan Cybrian Kotut came through to take second place in 2:04:34, finishing just three seconds ahead of Bethwel Chumba, who completed the all-Kenyan podium. Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese was a close fourth in 2:04:44.

Leading results

1 Meseret Belete (ETH) 2:18:21
2 Meseret Abebayehu (ETH) 2:19:50
3 Dorcas Tuitoek (KEN) 2:20:02
4 Ashete Bekere (ETH) 2:21:51
5 Tiruye Mesfin (ETH) 2:22:07
6 Anchalem Haymanot (ETH) 2:22:23
7 Meseret Gola (ETH) 2:22:29
8 Sofia Assefa (ETH) 2:23:33
9 Marion Kibor (KEN) 2:24:26
10 Anne Luijten (NED) 2:26:36

1 Joshua Belet (KEN) 2:04:18
2 Cybrian Kotut (KEN) 2:04:34
3 Bethwel Chumba (KEN) 2:04:37
4 Birhanu Legese (ETH) 2:04:44
5 Lemi Berhanu (ETH) 2:05:48
6 Bazezew Asmare (ETH) 2:06:34
7 Mulugeta Debasu (ETH) 2:06:36
8 Haymanot Alew (ETH) 2:08:25
9 Khalid Choukoud (NED) 2:08:36
10 Abderrazak Charik (FRA) 2:08:37

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