Report18 Feb 2024

Wins for Geleta and Gebru as records fall in Seville


Deresa Geleta wins the Seville Marathon (© Juan Jose Ubeda)

Ethiopia’s Deresa Geleta ran a world-leading course record of 2:03:27 to move into the top 20 on the men’s world marathon all-time list while his compatriot Azmera Gebru won the women’s race in 2:22:13 at the Zurich Maraton de Sevilla, a World Athletics Elite Label road race, on Sunday (18).

Record breaking was the theme of the day, with eight national records set as athletes chased qualification times for the Olympic Games in Paris in August.

A total of 12 men dipped under 2:08 and 14 women went sub-2:25.

Three of those national records were achieved by the athletes who next followed Geleta over the finish line: runner-up Morhad Amdouni of France, who clocked 2:03:47; third-place finisher Gashau Ayale of Israel, who ran 2:04:53, and Yemaneberhan Crippa of Italy, who finished fourth in 2:06:06.

Behind Gebru, the runner-up spot in the women’s race was secured by Josephine Chepkoech in a PB of 2:22:38, while her Kenyan compatriot Magdalyne Masai was third in 2:22:51.

The men’s race started fast and the leaders reached 10km in 29:02 before the front group of nine passed the half marathon mark in 1:01:49 – 42 seconds inside course record pace.

The pacemakers dropped out at around 25km and Geleta made a move. He was chased by a group of five athletes and by 30km Amdouni had closed the gap. They ran together through that checkpoint in 1:27:44.

Geleta pulled away from Amdouni over the final 5km and won by 20 seconds in 2:03:27.

Further back, national records were also set by Sweden’s Suldan Hassan in ninth (2:07:36), Chile’s Carlos Martin Diaz del Rio in 18th (2:08:04) and Macedonia’s Dario Ivanovski in 20th (2:08:26).

Gebru was part of a six-strong women’s group that passed halfway in 1:11:22. At the two-hour mark, the race was down to three.

Azmera Gebru claims the women's race win at the Seville Marathon

Azmera Gebru claims the women's race win at the Seville Marathon (© Juan Jose Ubeda)

Gebru was the only athlete who could stick with the pacemaker over the following kilometres and she reached the 40km mark in 2:15:02.

She continued on to win in 2:22:13, 25 seconds ahead of Chepkoech. Masai finished a further 13 seconds back.

The record-breakers in the women’s race were Meline Rollin, who placed seventh in a French record of 2:24:12, and Argentina’s Florencia Borelli, who was eighth in a South American record of 2:24:18.

Prior to the race, a 42-second silence was held in tribute to marathon world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum, who died in a road traffic accident last weekend.


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