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Ethiopia's Legese wins Tokyo Marathon for the second time in a row

  • The Tokyo marathon had only 200 elite participants due to the coronavirus threat.
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Modified 01 Mar 2020, 14:10 IST
Ethiopian Birhanu ( centre) wins the Tokyo marathon for the second time in a row.
Ethiopian Birhanu ( centre) wins the Tokyo marathon for the second time in a row.

What’s the story?

Birhanu Legese from Ethiopia emerged winner at the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday for the second consecutive year. He finished the race in two hours, four minutes and 15 seconds in the virus- impacted Japanese capital.

In case you did not know

The Tokyo marathon, which was to include more than 38000 participants, was limited to only 200 elite athletes including wheelchair runners to reduce the risk of infection from the deadly coronavirus.

The heart of the matter

Legese, who had put on Nike’s much-publicized carbon-plated shoes, ran past the finishing line before the 40-kilometer mark, winning by more than 30 seconds, but missed out on breaking Wilson Kipsang’s 2017 record of 2:03.58.

Bashir Abdi, the Somali- born Belgian (2:04:.49) came second as she defeated Ethiopian Sisay Lemma (2:04.51)

The race for the Japanese athletes served as a trial before they participate in the upcoming Olympic marathon in their home country.

What’s next?

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After 940 cases of coronavirus were detected in Japan, chances were very high for the 2020 Olympics to be called off. However, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told on Sunday that the country would continue its preparations for hosting the July-August quadrennial event. Meanwhile, the venue of the Olympic marathon has been shifted to the northern island of Hokkaido to keep away from the extremely hot and sultry Tokyo conditions.

Published 01 Mar 2020, 14:10 IST
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