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Bounasr and Beyene claim titles at Beijing Marathon
Last Updated: 2017-09-18 08:11 | Xinhua
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Salah Eddine Bounasr of Morocco became the first Moroccan man to win the 37-year history Beijing Marathon here on Sunday, while Melesech Tsegaye Beyene extended Ethiopians' winning streak in the women's race to four years.

Bounasr, 26, winner of the Guangzhou Marathon last year, timed two hours 11 minutes and 18 seconds to win the IAAF Gold Label Road Race. 2014 winner Girmay Birhanu Gebru of Ethiopia trailed in 2:11.26, while Stephen Kwelio Chemlany of Kenya finished third in 2:11:50.

"It is a little bit hot today. I tried my best in the race but still could not break 2:09 (the minimum requirement for the full prize money)," said Bounasr, who was not considered as a favorite before the race as there were 11 sub-2:10 runners in the field. "I came here for the win and I am glad to accomplish the goal."

Defending champion Mekuant Ayenew Gebre of Ethiopia only managed a seventh finish.

In the women's race, Beyene, 23, claimed the title in 2:27:44. Kenya's Rebecca Kangogo Chesir, runner-up at the Vienna Marathon this year, took second in 2:30:31. Rahma Tusa Chota of Ethiopia was third in 2:33:22.

"It's very nice, very good," said Beyene, runner-up of the Barcelona Marathon in March. "It's a little bit hot. I didn't expect to win, but I am really happy. This is my first time coming to Beijing Marathon. They city is very good, amazing. I hope I can come here next year."

Morocco's Dana Achahbar finished fourth in 2:40:51. China's He Yinli took the fifth in 2:42:53, far behind her PB 2:27:35 in 2015 Chongqing Marathon where she took a silver.

Some 30,000 runners took part in the 37th edition of Beijing Marathon.

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