Monday 23 January 2017

Triumvirate of Ethiopians take gold at the Dublin marathon

Published 30/10/2016 | 21:38

Dereje Debele Tulu, from Ethiopia wins the mens race in the Dublin city Marathon. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 30/10/2016
Dereje Debele Tulu, from Ethiopia wins the mens race in the Dublin city Marathon. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 30/10/2016

Among the competitors, aged between 18 and 86, it was a triumvirate of Ethiopians who crossed the finish line in record time.

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First prize – including a cheque for €12,000 – went to Dereje Debele Tulu, from Addis Ababa who won came in first in the elite men’s race in a time of 2:12:18, followed by compatriots Dereje Urgecha Beyecha in 2:14:38 and Asefa Legese Bekele with a time of 2:15:01.

Mr Tulu, who took the lead in the third mile, said he was delighted to have won the race.“Being number one is very good,” he beamed as he spoke to reporters after barely breaking a sweat as he crossed the finish line shortly after 11am. “I’m very happy.”

Helalia Johannes from Namibia – who won the 2011 Dublin marathon – won the women’s elite category at a time of 2:32:32 in a nail-biting finish that saw her power ahead of Ethiopia’s Ehite Gebireyes to win by a mere two seconds.

Helalia Johannes, from Namibia wins the womens race in the Dublin city Marathon. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 30/10/2016
Helalia Johannes, from Namibia wins the womens race in the Dublin city Marathon. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 30/10/2016

Ms Johannes, who took time out from competition last year after giving birth to her daughter Honour, said it was her little girl that helped spur her on to win the race and take home the top prize of €12,000.

But she said it’s the incredible spirit of Dubliners that keeps her coming back year after year.

“This country is a beautiful country and the people from Dublin are so friendly, I love Dublin,” she said.

Sergiu Ciobanu, who hails from Moldova but has been an Irish citizen since 2005, said he felt somewhat vindicated yesterday after winning the Irish men’s national championship title with a time of 2:17:40, his fourth national title and personal best.

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