Abdi, Tigest set course records in Changsha


In cold and wet conditions, Ethiopia’s Abdi Kebede registered his first international marathon title with a course record, while compatriot Tigist Teshome broke the women’s record at the Changsha International Marathon.
The 22-year-old Kebede, who debuted over the classic distance last year, stayed in the leading pack soon after the gun and won a last-kilometre three-man battle to cross the line in 2:10:23, cutting 50 seconds from the course record set last year by Ethiopia’s Fikadu Teferi.
A leading group of eight runners, including defending champion Teferi and local runner Peng Jianhua, paced the race to 15km in 46:16 and 20km in 1:01:29. Teferi gave up his title defense before 25km, while an unsuccessful attempt to break away from Paul Maina of Kenya at 33km further trimmed the leaders to five. The top three finishers all beat Teferi’s course record. David Kiprono of Kenya clocked a PB of 2:10:26 to finish second, improving his best by 44 seconds, while Ethiopia’s Workneh Tesfa finished third in 2:10:30.
The top three athletes in the women’s race also finished inside the course record of 2:32:56 set by Ethiopia’s Bekelu Beji, who pulled out of the race at the last minute.
32 years-old Tigest emerged victorious from a last 500-metre duel against Soud Kanbouchia of Morocco to finish in 2:31:43, which was more than two minutes shy of her PB of 2:29:17 set in Barcelona seven months ago.
The 37-year-old Kanbouchia finished, lagged five seconds behind Tigest to finish second while 24 year-old Ethiopian Ayantu Abera clocked 2:32.34 to finish third.