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Cheptegei positive despite disappointing Marathon debut

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David GOMBE

Ethiopia’s Sisay Lemma, the 2021 London champion, won the men’s 2023 Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso in 2:01:48.

The Ethiopian became the fourth man in history under 2:02 and take five seconds off Kelvin Kiptum’s course record set last year.

Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei finished 37th in a time of 2:08:59 on his debut but remains positive despite a disappointing start.

“Marathon is a journey a new chapter that I opened today. I am proud that I finished, despite that the result didn’t match up with what we had trained for.”

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“I have had disappointment before and it always made me come back stronger, it is the most powerful lesson in life. More marathon chapters will be written in the years to come.”

For now I will first go home, enjoy some time off with my family before the preparations for the Paris Olympics will start. I want to thank the incredible number of fans who cheered me on today, the organisation for their trust in me and my team who always got my back.” Cheptegei wrote on his socials

Cheptegei’s time of 2:08:59 was similar to the time run by the last man to debut as the reigning 10,000 world champion Mo Farah, who ran 2:08:21 in London in 2014.

Three-time Olympic gold medallist on the track, Kenenisa Bekele finished fourth in a new Masters world record of 2:04:19.

Ethiopian Worknesh Degefa won the women’s race in 2:15:51 to go seventh on the all-time list.

Top Three in the Men’s race

1.Sisay Lemma (ETH) 2:01:48
2.Alexander Mutiso (KEN) 2:03:11
3.Dawit Wolde (ETH) 2:03:48

Top Three in the Women’s race

1.Worknesh Degefa (ETH) 2:15:51
2.Almaz Ayana (ETH) 2:16:22
3.Hiwot Gebrekidan (ETH) 2:17:59

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