Shura and Tigist win Ethiopian Olympic Marathon trials


Shura Kitata and Tigist Girma won the Ethiopian Olympic Marathon Trials last Saturday in Sebeta, a city just outside Addis Ababa.
The 35K qualifying race saw a thrilling finish in the men’s event, with Kitata, the 2020 London Marathon champion, edging out two-time Boston Marathon winner Lelisa Desisa in a sprint to the line.
Lelisa Desisa went home disappointed on Saturday, but he has still guaranteed himself a chance to race in Sapporo, Japan, where this year’s Olympic marathon will be held. Sisay Lemma crossed the line in 1:46:19, just a few seconds behind Shura and Lelisa. Although his ticket is booked for the Tokyo Games on paper, Lemma can’t celebrate for Ethiopian running legend Kenenisa has challenged the qualification decision of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation.
Tigist Girma, the 2019 Ottawa Marathon champion, owns one of the fastest marathon results in history, and she ranks 14th among Ethiopians all time. She ran this result at the 2019 Amsterdam Marathon, where she finished second.
Second place went to Birhane Dibaba in 1:59:45. Birhane owns the sixth-fastest marathon result in Ethiopian history, with a PB of 2:18:35, which she ran in her second-place finish at the Tokyo Marathon in 2020. Roza Dereje won the third and final spot on the Ethiopian marathon team headed to Tokyo this summer, crossing the line in 2:00:16.
As things stand now, the top three men and women from Saturday’s race will represent Ethiopia in the Olympic marathon this summer.