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Ethiopia’s Ayana denies favourite Adola in Paris Marathon

Ethiopia’s Abeje Ayana upset favourite Guye Adola to win the Paris Marathon on Sunday with Kenya’s Helah Kiprop claiming the women’s race.

The 20-year-old Ayana pulled clear of Adola, 32, in the closing five kilometres to mark his arrival on the international stage in a time of two hours, seven minutes and 15 seconds.

Adola, who won the Berlin Marathon in 2021, crossed the line  20 seconds behind his compatriot, with Kenya’s Josphat Boit five seconds further back in third.

“I came here mainly as part of my preparation for the World Athletics Championships (in August),” Ayana said after his first attempt at the distance.

“I had to complete 42 kilometres, I’m happy that I did it. Several runners had to stop but I made it and I’m not even very tired either,” he added.

The race was run in wet and windy weather preventing any attempt on Elisha Rotich’s course record of 2hr 04min 21sec.

In the women’s race Kiprop pipped Ethiopian duo Atalel Anmut and Fikrte Wereta in a sprint for the line in 2hr 23min 19sec.

The Kenyan appeared to be struggling in a leading group of five with three kilometres to go, but the winner of the Tokyo Marathon in 2016 dug deep to launch a stirring late attack.

Anmut finished in the same time with Wereta three seconds adrift. 

The 42.195 km-route kicked off on the French capital’s iconic Champs Elysees before heading through the Bois de Vincennes park, along the Seine river, looping around the Bois de Boulogne to end near the Arc de Triomphe.

The route is different to that of the Paris 2024 Olympic marathon next year, which will start at Paris’ historic Hotel de Ville, or town hall, before heading towards Versailles and returning to the central Esplanade des Invalides.

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