Abdisa Tola and Dera Dida achieved an Ethiopian double at the Dubai Marathon, a World Athletics Gold Label road race.
Making his marathon debut, 22-year-old Tola clocked 2:05:42 to win the men’s race by nine seconds, while Dera, the 2019 world cross country silver medalist, ran a PB of 2:21:11 for the first marathon victory of her career.
The men’s race saw Abdisa, who is the brother of world marathon champion Tamirat Tola, pull away with around 2km remaining after briefly going off course at 39km. Having regained the lead, he went on to claim a clear win and led an Ethiopian top 11. He was followed over the finish by Deresa Geleta, who clocked 2:05:51, and Haymanot Alew, who also dipped under 2:06 with 2:05:57. Little over 15 minutes later, Dera completed a rare family triumph in a major marathon. The sister-in-law of Abdisa Tola, as she is married to world champion Tamirat, tormed to her biggest career win.
In fine weather conditions,Dida claimed a 13-second victory ahead of her compatriots Ruti Aga and Siranesh Yirga, who clocked respective times of 2:21:24 and 2:21:59, as Ethiopian athletes secured the top 10 places.
At the latest Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon, also a World Athletics Gold Label road race, Ethiopia’s Fantu Jimma won the women’s title while Kenya’s Philimon Kiptoo Kipchumba claimed victory in the men’s race. Fantu’s win in 2:27:50 comes after a fourth-place finish at the Ooredoo Doha Marathon in 2:23:21 last month.