Gelete Burka leads Ethiopian medal sweep in Paris


Ethiopia’s Gelete Burka led an Ethiopian medal sweep in Paris while Abrha Milaw stole the men’s show followed by compatriot Assefa Mengestu.
Six women remained in contention for the victory at the halfway point, hit in 1:11:08. Soon after the 30km point, Kenyan Sally Chepyego made a move that broke up the field behind her. Only the Ethiopian trio of Burka, Gebru and Azmera Abreha were able to sustain her relentless pace.
Burka, who was the fastest woman the field, lived up to her favourite’s role to capture her second marathon victory in 2:22:47. Azmera Gebru finished five seconds in arrears as Azmera Abreha came home third in 2:23:35, six seconds ahead of Calvin whose 2:23:41 performance broke the French national record.
With his victory, Milaw put an end to Paul Lonyangata’s dominance in Paris, the 26-year-old Kenyan who was looking for a third successive victory in the French capital, a would-be record. Lonyangata had picked up a slight injury last week when he slipped and fell in training, but it wasn’t a big enough setback to keep him from the start line.
Milaw made a big surge with three kilometers remaining and never look back to secure the 2:07:05 victory, clipping 20 seconds from his previous best and sealing a second successive French road success after his win at the Nice-Cannes Marathon last November. Assefa finished second twenty seconds behind.