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Ethiopia’s Tigist Ketema Breaks World Record For Fastest Marathon Debut in Dubai

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Ethiopian track and field athlete Tigist Ketema has etched her name in history by breaking the world record for the fastest marathon debut.

In an extraordinary display of athleticism, the 25-year-old crossed the finish line in 2:16:07, securing her triumph. This is the eighth fastest time ever recorded in women’s marathon history. Ketema’s feat also shattered the previous Dubai course record by one minute and one second.

Her debut marathon performance surpasses the notable Letesenbet Gidey’s record, adding another milestone to Ethiopia’s dominance in the sport. Letesenbet Gidey, also an Ethiopian, held the previous women’s record after she won the Valencia Marathon in 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 49 seconds in her debut at the distance on December 4th, 2022.

Before conquering the marathon scene, Ketema had put her talent in the limelight by winning the African Under-20 Championships in the 800 meters. In Paris, on June 9, 2023, she played a pivotal role as a pacemaker for Faith Kipyegon during the world record-breaking 5000m run at the Diamond League meeting in Paris.

In the Dubai marathon, Ruti Aga (2:18:09) and Dera Dida (2:19:29) claimed second and third place, respectively. Intriguingly, they are both Ethiopians. Addisu Gobena’s victory in the men’s race, clocking 2:05:01, completed the East African country’s dominance in both the men’s and women’s long-distance race categories.

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