Hiwot and Gebretsadik break records in Guangzhou


Hiwot Gebrekidan and Gebretsadik Abraha took an Ethiopian double at the Guangzhou Marathon, smashing the course records at the World Athletics Gold Label road race.
The 24-year-old Hiwot enjoyed a comfortable sole lead before 30km and wrapped up her convincing victory with a lifetime best of 2:23:50, smashing the 2:25:12 course record set by compatriot Rahma Tusa in 2017.
Hiwot and Kenya’s Celestine Chepchirchir led the pack side-by-side and when they passed 25km in 1:24:38, they were already nearly five minutes ahead of the chasers and well on track to attack the course record. Then the in-form Ethiopian broke clear from Chepchirchir and continued widening the gap until the finish.
It is Gebrekidan’s second title over the classic distance following her victory two years ago at Lake Tiberias where she achieved her previous PB of 2:25:45.
The 27-year-old Gebretsadik emerged victorious from a three-man battle in the last 10 kilometers to take the top honors in 2:08:04, which is the fastest time achieved by the former Prague and Marrakesh marathon winner since 2014. The leaders were trimmed to 10 by 25km in 1:16:11 and further cut to six after another five kilometers in 1:31:38. Gebretsadik then started his powerful charge, with only Kenya’s Mike Kiptum and Emmanuel Naibei managing to keep up with his pace by 32km.
The 27-year-old Kiptum, a 2:06:22 performer, quit the title contest before 40km. Gebretsadik waited for another kilometer to finally pull clear and never looked back before hitting home in style.