Ethiopia’s Tesfaye Abera pulled a fast one on his Kenyan rivals sneaking away with the Hamburg Marathon crown yesterday.
Philemon Rono, who is attached to Global Sports Communications in Kaptagat, settled for the runners-up spot as Josphat Kiprono returned third.
Abera, who won the Dubai Marathon in 2:04:24, stopped the timer in an unofficial 2:06.58.
Ethiopia completed a clean sweep of the top spots after Meselech Melkamu dominated the women’s marathon with a time of 2:21.54, almost five minutes faster than second-placed compatriot Meseret Hailu (2:26.26).
Melkamu smashed the course record in northern Germany, two minutes and 18 seconds quicker than the time Netsanet Achamo set in 2012.
Some of the world’s best runners made their way to the second-largest city in Germany with hopes of sealing late qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympics, with some showing the necessary grade, while others fell short.
Jakob Larsen, director of the Danish Athletic Federation, confirmed Abdi Ulad Hakim’s time of 2:14:03 was enough to secure him a place in Brazil, along with sports management company Bizz-Sports.
Not all competitors were as fortunate, though, and only the top 12 men’s finishers clocked under 2:15:30, the time needed to book a place at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Australian duo Jeffrey Hunt and Brad Milosevic, 17th and 34th, didn’t reach the passing mark to clinch their places, according to race commentator Dave Robbo.
Julian Flugel was the highest German finisher in Hamburg, and the home fans may have been disappointed to see him clock in at 22nd with a time of 2:17:10, but Anja Scherl fared better in the women’s order.
She placed third behind Melkamu and Hailu, but despite rounding the course more than 15 minutes behind the first-place finisher, her time was still good enough.