Eritrea’s Tewelde Estifanos Won the 64th Beppu – Oita Marathon

Estifanos became the first Eritrean to win the Beppu-Oita Marathon in its 64 years history with another personal best
Tewelde Estifanos became the first Eritrean to win the Beppu-Oita Marathon in its 64 years history with another personal best

By Ken Nakamura (for the IAAF),

SURGING away from Japanese rivals Hiroki Kadota and Hiroyuki Yamamoto after 32km, Eritrea’s Tewelde Estifanos won the 64th Beppu-Oita Marathon, an IAAF Silver Label Road Race, in a personal best 2:10:18 on Sunday (1).

After slow start, with the leaders covering the first kilometre in 3:11 and the second kilometre in 3:10, the pace picked up and 5km was reached in 15:27.

The pace then steadily increased: 5km to 10km took 15:08, and the 10-15km split was 14:53.

By 20km, passed in 1:00:43, the lead pack contained 10 runners. At 30km, with a split of 1:31:54), shortly after the pace makers left the course, there were still six runners in contention at the front: Estifanos, Uganda’s 2014 champion Abraham Kiplimo and the  Japanese quartet of Kadota, Yamamoto, Yusei Nakao and Satoshi Yoshii.

However, Estifanos soon started to increase the pace and Nakao and Yoshii were left behind.

The defending champion Kiplimo was the next to let go, leaving Estifanos, Kadota and Yamamoto to fight it out for the top spot on the podium.

Estiganos surged again after 32km; first Yamamoto and then, finally, Kadota had to let him go.

At 35km, the Eritrean was 10 seconds ahead of Kadota who, in turn, was another 10 seconds ahead of Yamamoto.

After 35km, Estifanos steadily slowed, taking 15:52 between 35km and 40km, but he still increased his advantage over his flagging pursuers and won by 28 seconds.

Estifanos became the first Eritrean to win the Beppu-Oita Marathon in its 64 years history and it continued his upward curve over the classic distance. It was the fourth straight personal best in as many marathons and his finishing position has also improved in those four races.

He made his marathon debut in the 2013 Beppu-Oita Marathon, where he was 11th with 2:16:13. Next was the 2013 Gold Coast Marathon where Estifanos improved his time to 2:13:10, when he finished third, and in the 2014 Melbourne Marathon Estifanos improved to second with 2:11:47.

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Estifanos Triumphs at Beppu-Oita

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By The Japan Times,

ERITREA‘s Tewelde Estifanos triumphed while Hiroki Kadota came runnerup for the top finish for Japan in the Beppu-Oita Marathon on Sunday.

Estifanos, who broke away from Kadota ahead of the 33-km mark, crossed the tape in 2 hours, 10 minutes, 18 seconds on the 42.195-km marathon course from Takasakiyama/Umitamago in Oita to Oita City Athletic Stadium.

Kadota clocked 2:10:46, and countryman Hiroyuki Yamamoto was third in 2:11:48, holding off defending champion Abraham Kiplimo of Uganda who finished fourth in 2:12:23.

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