Sunday, December 10, 2023

Ethiopian Tola and Kenyan Obiri reign in the New York Marathon

The Ethiopian Tamirat Tola and the Kenyan Hellen Obiri This Sunday they were proclaimed champions of the New York Marathon.

Tola, 32 years old and winner of gold at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, dominated his event from start to finish with enormous authority and broke the Big Apple marathon record with a time of 2h04:58 (the previous mark was held by Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai with 2h05:06 since 2011). Tola took almost two minutes out of Kenyan Albert Korirwho finished in second position (2h06:57).

Obiri33 years old and winner of Boston in 2023, won the victory after an exciting ending after three runners reached the last kilometer of the race tied.

In a slow paced and very strategic race, Obiri achieved a time of 2h27:23 (the women’s record in New York is held by Kenyan Margaret Okayo with 2h22:31 in 2003) after leave Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey behind in the last meters (2h27:29).

Obiri thus took over from his compatriot Sharon Lokediwho was the champion in 2022 and who finished third this year very close to the winner (2h27:33).

This 2023 has been a year of great marks in the marathon, with the world records of the Ethiopian Tigst Assefa (2h11:53 in Berlin) and the Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum (2h00:35 in Chicago).

As expected, this Sunday’s marks in New York were far from those impressive records since the New York route is harder and more demanding than that of the other ‘majors’ (Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin and Chicago).

Imperial Tola

After the first and even 10 kilometers, Tola and Korir radically tightened the rhythm, they began to rule out competitors and that cut left a group of half a dozen runners in the lead. Along with them, the Ethiopian Jemal Yimer completed that trio that left everyone else behind after the halfway point of the race and already arriving in Manhattan from Queens.

Tola did not slow down and, with a new acceleration, left Korir behind and went alone with his compatriot Yimer. Imperial from start to finish, Tola hit again at kilometer 30, Yimer could no longer follow in his wake and Tola went alone to close an incontestable victory.

Obiri reigns in an epic finale

Much of the attention this year in the New York Marathon was on the women’s competition, with more prominent names than those in the men’s event.

The American Kelly Taylor, Aggressive from the start, she took control of the race during the first kilometers, gaining some distance from the main group. She was hunted before reaching kilometer 10 and that group with a dozen runners, despite some isolated attacks such as that of the American Molly Huddleremained stable beyond the halfway point of the race.

With a slow pace, keeping an eye on each other and almost like in a sharp game of poker to see who would move first, none of the favorites dared to attack until Kenyan Viola Cheptoo broke the race after kilometer 35 and only four other runners survived that cut.

Finally there were three who competed for victory in the last kilometer and, in a very exciting outcome in Central Park, Obiri managed to separate himself from Gidey and Lokedi to claim victory.

In the wheelchair competition, Switzerland achieved a double with the victories of Marcel Hug, who made history by becoming the first person to win the six majors in a single year, and Catherine Debrunner, who won for the first time. with the victory in New York.

A party in New York

With more than 50,000 runners willing to travel the 42,195 kilometers, New York gave the athletes a perfect day to take to the streets at this time of the year.

Thus, the women’s competition, which started at 8:40 in the morning, began with a temperature of 9 degrees on a completely sunny day and without a trace of rain or wind.

Twenty-five minutes later, when the men’s test began, the temperature was already 12 degrees.

From first thing in the morning, Thousands of fans flocked to the streets through which the race circulated to cheer on the competitors. and many of them went to the area around Central Park to witness the arrival.

With flags and signs to give strength to the runners, fans also enjoyed live music along the route.

Once again, the New York marathon left iconic images such as the multitudinous and multicolored – due to the runners’ shirts – crossing the Verrazano-Narrows bridge right after starting the test in State Island.

The race passed through the five boroughs of the city (Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Manhattan) amid a large security deployment.


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