Home Sports Athletics Nageeye and Bekere win Rotterdam Marathon

Nageeye and Bekere win Rotterdam Marathon

Abdi Nageeye improved his own Dutch record to 2:04:45 and Ethiopia’s Ashete Bekere clocked 2:19:30 to win the Rotterdam Marathon, a World Athletics Gold Label road race held Sunday.

In the men’s race, Olympic silver medallist Nageeye regained the Rotterdam Marathon title he first won in 2022, improving his own national record of 2:04:56 set in that race by 11 seconds. He won by five seconds ahead of Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn, while Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese was third in 2:05:16.

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That trio had formed part of a group that followed the pacemakers through 10km in 29:06 before 15km was reached in 43:48.

A pack of nine athletes forged ahead and reached 20km in 58:31 and the group was seven strong as 30km was passed in 1:28:09.

At 35km, reached in 1:42:54, four athletes remained in contention to battle for the three podium places – Nageeye, Walelegn and Legese joined by Kenya’s Kenneth Kipkemoi. But Kipkemoi was unable to maintain the pace and he dropped back as the leading trio clocked 1:58:12 for 40km.

From that point, Walelegn and Nageeye dropped two-time Tokyo Marathon winner Legese, with Nageeye tracking Walelegn. Nageeye looked to be waiting for the perfect moment to make a final move and as he kicked, Walelegn could not respond – Nageeye claiming a clear victory in 2:04:45.

In the women’s race, 2019 Berlin Marathon winner Bekere was joined by her compatriot Sisay Meseret Gola and Kenya’s Selly Chepyego and Viola Kibiwot as 10km was reached in 32:42. 

They remained on course record pace as they passed 15km in 48:48, 20km in 1:05:11 and 25km in 1:21:23, with Bekere a stride ahead of her rivals.

Bekere forged ahead and she had created an eight-second advantage by 30km, passing that point in 1:37:48.

Maintaining that momentum, she reached 35km in 1:54:25. While she slowed in the latter stages of the race, passing 40km in 2:11:52, she had done more than enough to hold on to victory, winning unchallenged in 2:19:30 ahead of Kibiwot (2:20:57) and Chepyego (2:22:46).

Prior to the race, a minute of silence was held in honour of world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum, who died in February. Kiptum had been due to run in Rotterdam, where he was hoping to become the first man to break two hours for the marathon on a record-eligible course. Bib number 1, which had been assigned to Kiptum, was not used on Sunday and many athletes wore black ribbons in his memory.

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