Ethiopian Lilesa captures Tokyo Marathon

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Ethiopia's Feyisa Lilesa celebrates as he prepares to cross the finish line and win the men's category of the Tokyo Marathon in Tokyo on February 28, 2016/AFP
Ethiopia’s Feyisa Lilesa celebrates as he prepares to cross the finish line and win the men’s category of the Tokyo Marathon in Tokyo on February 28, 2016/AFP

TOKYO, Japan, Feb 28 – Ethiopia’s Feyisa Lilesa stormed to victory in the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday after a devastating late burst of pace left Kenyan rival Dickson Chumba for dead.

Lilesa, a former world bronze medallist, kicked for home with around two kilometres (1.25 miles) to go and clocked 2 hr 6 min 56 sec under sunny skies to claim his first major marathon title.

Two years ago Chumba won the Tokyo race, one of the six majors on the marathon circuit, but he had no answer to Lilesa’s late surge and eventually took third after being caught by fellow Kenyan Kiprop Kipyego with the finish line in sight.

Kenyan Helah Kiprop won the women’s race in a time of 2:21:27 ahead of Ethiopia’s Birhane Dibaba, the defending Tokyo champion.

More than 36,000 took part in the 10th edition of the race which winds through the streets of Tokyo, including thousands of fun runners in fancy dress.

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