First marathon and first victory for the Ethiopian Abeje Ayana. This Sunday, the 20-year-old runner with no distance reference – but with two half-marathons in Poznan (Poland) completed in 59’39” in October 2021 and in Cardiff finished in 1h00’17” in 2022 – won the Paris marathon by dropping Guye Adola, his eldest of twelve years, favorite of the race after his victory in 2021 at the Berlin marathon.
Following a first acceleration in the climb of the last six kilometers, to which Adola responded, Ayana placed a new attack, this time sharp, almost five kilometers from the finish line. He completed the course in 2h07’15”, twenty seconds ahead of Adola and 25 ahead of the Kenyan Josphat Boit, third. The first Frenchman is Mehdi Frère, 10th, in 2h11’04”.
52,000 participants in the gloom
In the women’s race, victory was even more contested. A group of five women still led the way with three kilometers to go. The Kenyan Helah Kiprop was the first to let go… before coming back to finally beat her competitors after an unexpected comeback, gleaning a victory thanks to the self-sacrifice that characterizes marathon runners.
Kiprop, victorious in particular in the Tokyo marathon in 2016, managed the time of 2h23’19”, crossing the line in the same time as the Ethiopian Atalel Anmut. Another Ethiopian, Fikrte Wereta, finished third, three seconds behind the leading duo.
In the disabled category, Briton David Weir, six-time Paralympic gold medalist, sprinted ahead of Dutchman Geert Schipper to win his second title after 2017, in 1h34’23”. Frenchman Julien Casoli completes the podium in 1h35’23”.
Contested in the Parisian grayness and in conditions made difficult by the rain and the wind, the race did not allow the athletes to set new records. More than 52,000 participants were expected at this 46th edition, with 43% newcomers to the distance.