Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ethiopian Hailu Mekonnen wins Tokyo Marathon

Hailu Mekonnen of Ethiopia won the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday in a time of 2 hours, 7 minutes, 35 seconds.Mekonnen's time was 11 seconds off the race record set by Switzerland's Viktor Rothlin in 2008. Kenyan Paul Biwott was second with a time of 2:08:17 while Japan's Yuki Kawaguchi took third in 2:08:37.World marathon record holder Haile Gebrselassie withdrew from the race on Thursday after the Ethiopian bruised both knees in training recently.The 30-year-old Mekonnen said he wanted to try to make up for Gebrselassie's absence."It's sad and disappointing that Haile could not be here," Mekonnen said. "There's no question he would have made the Tokyo Marathon a much better race. I tried to make up for him not being here by running the best race I could possibly run."Russia's Tatiana Aryasova won the women's race with a time of 2:27:29, 1 minute, 20 seconds ahead of Japan's Noriko Higuchi. Tatiana Petrova, also of Russia, was third in 2:28:56.The fifth running of the Tokyo Marathon had a total of 33,353 participants. Source ( USA TODAY)
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