NEW York, April 18 – Ethiopian Atsede Baysa produced a late charge over the final few miles to end Kenya’s five year dominance in the women’s Boston Marathon after winning the 2016 race in a fascinating fashion on Monday.
Kenya’s 10,000m Commonwealth champion Joyce Chepkurui was out of gas to finish a distance third in 2:30:50 behind winner Atsede who cut the tape in 2:29:19 while compatriot Tirfi Tsegaye crossed the line second in 2:30:03.
The men’s race was not welcoming to Kenya either as 2012 champion and Cherengany MP Wesley Korir settled fourth in 2:14:05 way behind winner Lemi Berhanu Hayle who led compatriots defending champion Lelisa Desisa and Yemane Adhane Tsegay to an Ethiopian clean sweep.
Women defending champion, Kenyan Caroline Roitich who is based in USA, dropped out of the race after five miles to leave compatriot Flomena Cheyech, Valentine Kipketer and Chekurui in the race.
It was a well done performance for Chepkurui who hanged on against Tirfi for the better part of the race, to improve her 10th finish at last year’s Boston run.
Baysa, a two-time Chicago Marathon winner came from 37 seconds at the 22-mile mark to overtake the two women in front of her.
She passed fellow Ethiopian and sometime training partner Tirfi with two miles left to take the honors.
Chepkirui, who was disputing the lead with Tsegaye at 22 miles before Baysa started her long charge for glory, settled third while another Kenyan Kipketer finished fifth in 2:33:13 ahead of Cheyech who came sixth in 2:33:40.
The men’s race featured a long duel between Desisa and Hayle. The duo ran together for many miles until Hayle put on a late charge to absolutely dust Desisa to take the crown in a time of 2:12:44.
Desisa came home wearily 47 seconds in arrears with Tsegay finishing third in 2:14:02, just holding off Korir by three seconds.
Desisa, a popular figure in Boston after donating his 2013 winner’s medal back to the city as a gesture of solidarity with victims of the deadly bombing that rocked that year’s race, was the early pace-setter, pulling away with Berhanu Hayle near the 15-mile mark.
The two Ethiopians stretched away from the pack in a compelling duel that ended when Berhanu Hayle finally kicked for home in the closing stages to cross the line more than 40 seconds clear of Desisa.
The 21-year-old Berhanu Hayle, who finished 15th in the World Championships marathon in Beijing last year, had previously won marathons in Dubai, Zurich and Warsaw.
His victory in Boston is by far the biggest win of his career to date.
Paul Lonyangata (2:15:45) followed his countryman Korir closely fifth while Sammy Kitwara (2:16:43) and Stephen Chebogut (2:16:52) finished sixth and seventh respectively.
The hot weather in the second half of the race, with temperatures over 20 degrees Celsius, contributed to the modest times.