Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Ethiopian athletes dominate Houston marathon

Tariku Jiffar and Alemitu Abera crashed the Chevron-Houston annual marathon course record while Feisa Lelisa and Belaynesh Oljera dominated the half marathon event.
The 40th Chevron Houston Marathon was an all Ethiopian showdown with both the men’s and women’s title, together with the course records secured by the Ethiopians. Twenty seven years old Tariku along with compatriots Demesew Tsega and Debebe Tolosa took the lead past the half distance with the only threat from Kenyan Festus Langat. Badly injured after he was struck by a car while in training in Addis Ababa last year Tariku’s return after nine months absence turned real  surprise when he crossed the finishing line alone crushing the one year old course record 2:07:04 held by compatriot Bekana Daba. Tariku clocked a new record time of 2:06:51 followed by Debebe Tolosa in 2:07:41.
Twenty six year old Alemitu Aberra also took down the 2010 record set by her compatriot Teyeba Erkesso. Alemitu took the lead from the gun thus the women’s event was a runaway showdown. The winner by  taking the crown in 2:23:14 insured  Ethiopians’ get six wins in six consecutive years. Alemitu reached home more than four minutes earlier than runner-up Australian three-time Olympian Benta  Willis followed by Ethiopian Yehunlesh Delelcha. Race winners Tariku Jiffar and Alemitu Aberra received 35000 Dollars each for victory plus additional 10000 Dollar for breaking course record.
The half marathon event was also dominated by Ethiopians as both men’s and women’s title went to Feyesa Lelisa in 59:22 and Belaynesh Oljera in 59:43 as both set new course records. Both winners bagged 10000 Dollars for the win and additional 7500 Dollars for the record.