Berlin (AFP)

Ethiopian Guye Adola won the Berlin Marathon on Sunday in 2 h 05 min 45 sec (unofficial time) ahead of Kenyan Bethwel Yegon and big favorite Kenenisa Bekele, beaten by a good minute.

In perfect weather conditions, the first half marathon was run on very high bases, with Bekele, 39, announcing his intention to tackle Eliud Kipchoge's world record (2h 01 min 39 sec).

But no runner could keep pace in the last 20 kilometers.

Until about the 25th kilometer, a group of four men including Bekele and Adola ran several seconds ahead of Kipchoge's world record breaking times, broken in Berlin on the same course in 2018.

But the tempo collapsed when the last hare left the race, to the point of allowing the return of Yegon, totally unexpected at this level, and who for a moment flirted with the first place five kilometers from the finish.

Bekele, who understood from km 27 that he couldn't get close to the record, then tried to lead a tactical race for victory, but Adola was the strongest on Sunday.

The 30-year-old Ethiopian had already shone in Berlin in 2017, where he made a sensational entry onto the big stage of the world marathon.

This half-marathon specialist, almost unknown to the general public at the time, was then competing in his first marathon, and had threatened to everyone's surprise the great Eliud Kipchoge, whom he was still 25 meters ahead of the 40th kilometer.

In the ladies, the Ethiopian Gotytom Gebreslase won in 2h 20:09, ahead of two other Ethiopians, Hiwot Gebrekidan (2h 21:23) and Helen Tola (2h 23:05).

© 2021 AFP