Tiki Gelana, winner of the women's race (© Organisers)
Rotterdam, The Netherlands - A windy and rather cool 32nd edition of the ABN-AMRO Rotterdam Marathon witnessed a spectacular Ethiopian double. Yemane Tsegay Adhane won the men's race in 2:04:48, while Tiki Gelana became the fourth fastest woman of all time with a 2:18:58 victory.
The ABN-AMRO Rotterdam Marathon is an IAAF Silver Label Road Race.
Yemane Tsegay Adhane (27) beat compatriot Getu Feleke (25) into second place two second back, while the pre-race favourite Moses Mosop of Kenya finished third in 2:05:03.
The two Ethiopians made their decisive move between 21 and 24 kilometres.
At the half way marker a rather big group which included the pace makers Geoffrey Kipsang, Jonathan Maiyo and John Mwangangi (all Kenya) led Getu Feleke, Yemane Tsegay, the Kenyans Sammy Kitwara, Moses Mosop, Peter Kirui, Stephen Kibet and Stephen Chemlany in 1:01:38, six seconds inside the halfway time of Patrick Makau's intermediate time during his world record race (2:03:38) in Berlin last year.
About four kilometres further (25 kms in 1:13:00) Feleke and Tsegay still paced by Kipsang had gained a gap of seven seconds on Mosop, Kibet, Kitwara and pace Mwangangi. The three leaders were at that point eighteen seconds faster the Makau's World record split.
At 30kms all the pace makers were out and Feleke and Tsegay working together perfectly passed 35 kilometres in 1:42:33 but had lost the chance for bettering the World record which Rotterdam hoped for as they were then seventeen seconds back on Makau's split.
Later the two Ethiopians said they never thought of a World record. “We went for a fast time,” said winner Tsegay through an interpreter. “Qualification for the Olympic Games in London is the most important thing.''
At the 35 kilometres point Mosop was slightly struggling 25 seconds back. In between Kitwara and Kirui had left the race. Although Mosop tried to reduce the distance between himself and the two Ethiopians he was still 23 seconds back on them - 1:58:19 to 1:57.56 - at 40 kilometres. It was clear then that Rotterdam after many years would get a non-Kenyan winner.
In final kilometre Tsegay made his move. He opened a gap of some twenty metres and won in 2:04.48, the second fastest time of the year behind compatriot Ayele Abshero (2:04:23), the winner of the Dubai Marathon on 27 January.
The 24-year-old Gelana clocked the fourth fastest personal best time ever run by a woman. It was her second win in a great Dutch marathon. Last year (16 October) she won the Amsterdam Marathon in a then personal best of 2:22:08.
Tiki Gelana was in a class of her own. As the women passed the five kilometres marker she was already five seconds ahead of compatriot Merima Hasen, who eventually finished third in 2:25:48.
Running in a beautiful rhythm Gelana danced over the roads lined by thousands of spectators, opening a very wide margin on her competitors.
The Italian Valeria Straneo finished extremely strongly, the mother of two clocking 2:23:44 for second place, a personal best and a new national record.
Wim van Hemert for the IAAF
32nd ABN-AMRO Rotterdam Marathom. Sunday April 15th.
Windy, tem. 8-10 CT
1. Yemane Tsegay Adhane ETH 2:04:48 PB
2. Getu Feleke ETH 2:04:50 PB
3. Moses Mosop KEN 2:05:03
4. Stephen Kibet KEN 2:08:05 PB
5. Stephen Chemlany KEN 2:10:08
6. Koen Raymaekers NED 2:10:35 PB
7. Dylan Wykes CAN 2:10:47 PB
8. Mariusz Gizynski POL 2:11:20 PB
1. Tiki Gelana ETH 2:18:58 NR PB
2. Valeria Straneo ITA 2:23:44 NR PB
3. Merima Hasen ETH 2:25:48
4. Miranda Boonstra NED 2:27:32 PB
5. Lanni Marchant CAN 2:31:51 PB
6. Heleen Plaatzer NED 2:31:51 Correct PB
7. Krista Duchene CAN 2:32:06 PB
8. Wilma Arizapana COL 2:34:11 PB