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Sat 22 Jan 2011 07:57 PM

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Barmasai, Medessa take titles in Dubai Marathon

Barmasai improves on personal best to take men’s title, while Medessa fights pain to bag women’s crown

Barmasai, Medessa take titles in Dubai Marathon
Aselefech Mergia Medessa of Ethiopia gives a thumbs up sign after winning the Dubai Marathon on January 21 (Getty Images)

David Barmasai of Kenya put in a personal best effort of 2:07:18 to win the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on Friday with Aselefech Mergia Medessa of Ethiopia clocking 2:22:45 to take the women’s title.

The 23-year-old Barmasai, who beat fellow Kenyan Evans Cheruivot and Eshetu Wendimu Tsige by improving his own timing by more than three minutes, now has won three successive marathons with the Nairobi Marathon in 2010 and the Kass Marathon 2009 already to his name.

“Before the start of the race, my focus was to finish in the top ten, but a win here is a great feeling. I am happy to have done a good time,” said Barmasai.

Medessa, who beat Lydia Cheromei of Kenya and Isabellah Andersson of Sweden, missed out on the women’s course record by three seconds.

That, however, did not dampen her spirits. “I realised that I was leading only when I was in the 41st km. I was fighting all the way with Lydia (Cheromei) and I was only confident once she was behind me. I’m so happy that I won,” she said.

“I would love to come back next year and perform even better,” added the Ethiopian who struggled with a leg injury. “I have had the pain in my legs for a while. But thanks to my manager I have been able to get over it. At the start of the race I could feel the pain but as I continued I began to feel more comfortable,” she added.

Around 14,000 runners participated in the marathon, which was held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE.

It was flagged off at 7am just off Sheikh Zayed Road in front of the American University.

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