Monday , October 14 2019
Breaking News
Home / Sport / Desisa sprints to midnight marathon win

Desisa sprints to midnight marathon win

“This is for 100 million of Ethiopians who were behind me,” said Desisa. “I am the second man from my country to win this title and it is not just for me, it is for my country.”

As with the other road races during the championship, the race started just before midnight to escape the worst of the heat and humidity.

Conditions were less brutal than previously although it was still 29.09 degrees Celsius with 48.6 per cent humidity at the start, organisers said, and 55 of the 73 starters completed the course.

Scenes at the finish line in Doha.

Scenes at the finish line in Doha.Credit:AP

Desisa said he had been training especially for the conditions.

“I trained in a place with these weather conditions, so this race was not hard – it was similar to my training,” he said.

The runners did six laps of a seven-kilometre loop of Doha’s waterfront although it was again a surreal atmosphere with virtually no spectators lining the route. The only encouragement for the runners came from team delegates and reporters near the finish line.


Paraguay’s Derlys Ayala hared off at the start and gave himself a 150-metre lead over the rest of the field within the first kilometre. He managed to keep the lead for around an hour before being swallowed by the pack and then dropping out.

Eventually, Desisa, Geremew, Kipruto, Stephen Mokoka and Zersenay Tadese broke away from the rest and took control of the race.

After several kilometres of cat and mouse, they were caught by Dawkins with three kilometres left to set up an enthralling finish.

Mokoka and Tadese were the first to be dropped before Dawkins also lost contact around one kilometre from the end. Kipruto was also unable to keep up and it ended with Desisa charging away to claim the gold.

“[I’m] gutted,” said Hawkins. “Maybe I just gave too much in the middle stages. But I couldn’t do any more.”


Most Viewed in Sport


About admin

Check Also

Cowboys sign Marsters on three-year deal, Martin waiting on brain scan

Marsters’ signing comes after the Cowboys used six different players in the centres this year, …