Ethiopian runners triumph in half marathon races

Pleasant weather was a boon for runners, with the winners breaking last year's fastest times.
Ethiopian runners triumph in half marathon races
Dong Jun / SHINE

About 15,000 runners start their race from the Oriental Pearl TV Tower.

Two Ethiopian runners took line honors in the men’s and women’s Shanghai International Half Marathon on Sunday, with fine weather helping many finishers achieve their best personal records.

Despite overcast, the temperature was a pleasant 20 degrees Celsius for the event.

Antenayehu Dagnachew Yisma won the men’s race, clocking 1:02:32. Bedatu Hirpa Badane won the women’s event with a time of 1:12:10.20. Both beat the fastest times in last year’s race.

The annual event drew 15,000 participants, who started the 21-kilometer race from the Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Pudong at 7am and ended at Shanghai Oriental Sports Center.

Runners-up in the men’s race were Ethiopian Bonsa Dida Direba (1:02:35) and Kenya’s Albert Kipkosgei Kangogo (1:02:37).

Second and third places in the women’s race went, respectively, to a pair of Ethiopians Yenenesh Tilahun Dinkesa (1:12:10.40) and Sule Utura Gedo (1:12:11.10).

The winners each took home US$10,000 in prize money. The event also includes a prize of 10,000 yuan (US$1,492) for the top Chinese finishers in both races. Those honors went to Wu Xiangdong (1:06:16) and female runner Li Zhixuan (1:13:12).

The top 600 male and 300 female runners get automatic entry into the 2019 Shanghai International Marathon in November.

Ethiopian runners triumph in half marathon races
Dong Jun / SHINE
Ethiopian runners triumph in half marathon races
Dong Jun / SHINE

About 98 percent of runners complete the race.

“It was good weather for a running event,” amateur runner Lu Qi told Shanghai Daily. “Late April can sometimes be so hot in Shanghai.”

Lu followed race pacers for the majority of the race, completing the 21-kilometer distance in about 1 hour and 33 minutes.

“That was my personal best, a satisfying result after two months of training,” he said.

According to the organizers, 98 percent of runners completed the race. Fifteen ambulances, 800 security staff and over 1,780 volunteers were on hand to provide services.

According to Shanghai East Hospital, the official medical service provider, 512 runners received medical treatment, including three foreign runners. Most cases were slight discomforts or minor injuries, while 11 runners showed more serious symptoms like low blood pressure, fever and fainting. All were said to be in stable condition after treatment.

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