EUGENE, UNITED STATES (AFP) – Ethiopia’s Gotytom Gebreslase cut loose in the latter stages to claim gold in the women’s marathon at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, on Monday (July 18).
Gebreslase, who won the 2021 Berlin Marathon on her debut and finished third in this year’s Tokyo Marathon, kicked with 2km to go, winning in a championships record of 2hr 18min 11sec.
Judith Jeptum Korir of Kenya claimed silver in a personal best of 2:18.20. Kenyan-born Israeli Lonah Chemtai Salpeter claimed bronze in 2:20.18.
Gebreslase said Korir had asked her to pass after leading for a large period of the race. “But I stayed patient,” she said. “Towards 40km, I felt strong and decided to leave.”
It was a second marathon title for an Ethiopian runner in Eugene after Tamirat Tola won the men’s marathon on Sunday. “Tola’s win yesterday motivated me a lot today,” Gebreslase said.
“I did not know I was the first Ethiopian woman to win (the world title since 2015).
“I plan to prepare well and defend my title in Budapest” at next year’s world championships. Korir admitted that it was “not easy to run with the fast Ethiopians”.
“It bothered me a bit the fact that she (Gebreslase) did not want to pace with me.”