Ethiopia’s Sisay Lemma breaks Kelvin Kiptum’s course record in Valencia Marathon
High-flying Ethiopia's Sisay Lemma was the star during the Valencia Marathon as he shattered Kelvin Kiptum's course record on Sunday, December 3, 2023.
On the Valencia course, Lemma broke Kiptum's course record from 12 months ago by five seconds.
This is one of Lemma's big wins, as he displayed a dominant performance to beat his closest rivals, compatriot Dawit Wolde, who came in second, and Kenya's Kibiwott Kandie.
Lemma, a 2021 London Marathon winner, was the designated victor on the Valencia course when he broke clear with 7km to go of the 42.195km race distance.
Lemma, Wolde, and Kandie were inside the world record pace when the race entered the 30km mark, and this was over a minute outside Kelvin Kiptum's mark from Chicago in October, according to Olympics.com.
Just after the halfway mark, the trio formed the leading group, with Hillary Kipkoech providing the pacemaking job.
The pacemaker dropped just after the 30km mark, and Wolde increased his pace at the front before Lemma, who will soon celebrate his 33rd birthday, engineered a decisive move to victory.
Mutiso claims second place
Kenya's Alexander Mutiso, the reigning Prague Marathon champion, came in second after clocking 2:03:11, and Wolde was third, 37 seconds behind the Kenyan.
Ethiopia's remarkable distance runner over time, Kenenisa Bekele, missed a podium finish as he came in fourth after completing his race 20 seconds behind the podium finishers.
Joshua Cheptegei, who was making his marathon record, did not have his dream display as he finished the race in a distant 37th place.
The 5000m and 10,000m world record holder was among those dropped, having reached the half-way mark in the lead group in 60:35 and finally crossed the line in 2:08:59.
Leading men's results in Valencia Marathon
Sisay Lemma (ETH) 2:01:48
Alexander Mutiso (KEN) 2:03:11
Dawit Wolde (ETH) 2:03:48
Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) 2:04:19
Gabriel Geay (ETH) 2:04:33
Kibiwott Kandie (KEN) 2:04:48
Chalu Deso (ETH) 2:05:14
Mohamed Esa Huseydin (ETH) 2:05:40
Mehdi Frere (FRA) 2:05:43
Gashau Ayale (ETH) 2:05:46