Ethiopian clocks quickest marathon debut of all time

Ethiopian track and field athlete Tigist Ketema became the fastest marathon debutant of all time by running 2:16:07 over the classic distance.

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Ethiopian track and field athlete Tigist Ketema became the fastest marathon debutant of all time by running 2:16:07 over the classic distance.

The 25-year-old Olympic athlete broke the record by over a minute to win the Dubai Marathon on January 7.

Ketema is now the fastest marathon debutant in history

The East African athlete who had never competed at a distance longer than 10km managed to surpass compatriots Dera Dida and Ruti Aga, who were first and second in the previous year.

Aga finished second in 2:18:09, matching her personal best achieved at the Dongying Marathon in October 2023, while Dida was third in 2:19:29, barely five seconds behind her personal best set at the September 2023 Berlin Marathon.

“I was quite afraid of the distance before I ran my first marathon but now, I wonder why,” said Ketema.

The Ethiopian runner now moves to number eight on the world’s all-time list. Her time ranks third on her nation’s all-time list behind training partners, world record-holder Tigist Assefa and world champion Amane Beriso.

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