Kenenisa Bekele, an Ethiopian long-distance runner and three-time Olympic champion, won the Paris Marathon on Sunday, finishing the 42.195km (26.22 miles) race in a record 2hr 5min 02secs.
The previous record for the Paris Marathon was held by Kenya's Stanley Wiwott, who clocked 2hr 05:10 in 2012.
The race was Bekele’s first marathon. "I didn't have much experience," Bekele said. "It was very tough but it was the time I expected.”
Fellow Ethiopian Getachew Negari Terfa, who set a course record at Xiamen in China in 2013, came in second, while Luka Kanda of Kenya, the 2012 Rome winner, claimed the third spot on the podium.
Bekele made his move with about 25km to run and opened up a lead that may have been even more significant had he not struggled with a hamstring problem.
"The hamstring wasn't good after 25km. It was cramping but it's ok. I'll feel it more in the morning," explained Bekele.
He missed out on the world record, which is held by Kenyan Wilson Kipsang who set a mark of 2hr 3min 23secs in 2013 at Berlin.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
Date created : 2014-04-06