Two surprises at the Paris Marathon. Ethiopia's Abeje Ayana won on Sunday, April 2, a few minutes before Kenya's Helah Kiprop.

In an Ethiopian duel, Ayana dropped twelve-year-old Guye Adola, the race favorite after his 2021 victory at the Berlin Marathon. Following a first acceleration in the climb of the last six kilometers, to which Adola responded, Ayana placed a new attack, this time sharp, almost five kilometers from the finish line. He completed the course in 2:07:15, twenty seconds ahead of Adola and 25 ahead of Kenya's Josphat Boit, third.

Ayana was competing in her first marathon, after two half marathons, one in Poznan (Poland) completed in 59 min 39 sec in October 2021, and another in Cardiff finished in 1 h 00 min 17 sec last year. His first strides on a course of 42.195 kilometers propelled him to the rank of international athlete.

Abeje Ayana who first crosses the finish #SchneiderElectric #ParisMarathon 🥇

line here in Paris 🥇

— Schneider Electric Paris Marathon (@parismarathon) April 2, 2023

Kiprop in extremis

In the women's race, the victory was even more contested. A group of five women were still leading the pace three kilometers from the goal. Kenyan Helah Kiprop was the first to let go... before coming back to finally get ahead of her competitors at the end of an unexpected comeback, gleaning a victory thanks to the self-sacrifice that characterizes marathoners.

Kiprop, winner of the Tokyo Marathon in 2016, clocked 2:23:19, cutting the line at the same time as Ethiopia's Atalel Anmut. Another Ethiopian, Fikrte Wereta, finished third, three seconds behind the leading duo.

🏃 ♀️ Among the elite women, it is Helah Kiprop who wins and becomes Queen of Paris! 👸

🏃 ♀️ In the women race, it's Helah Kiprop who takes the win and becomes the queen of Paris! 👸 #SchneiderElectric #ParisMarathon

— Schneider Electric Paris Marathon (@parismarathon) April 2, 2023

In the disabled category, Britain's David Weir, six-time Paralympic gold medallist, edged out Dutchman Geert Schipper in the sprint to win his second title after 2017, in 1:34:23.

Contested under the greyness of Paris and in conditions made difficult by rain and wind, the race did not allow the athletes to set new records.

Nor did it offer them the opportunity to recognize the route of the Olympic marathon, which will be held in the streets of the French capital in less than 500 days. This year's route started from the center of Paris and then swept the capital from East to West. The Olympic route will start at the Hôtel de Ville before plunging in the direction of Versailles (south-west) and then returning to the centre.

More than 52,000 participants were expected during this 46th edition, with 43% of neophytes of the distance.

With AFP

The summary of the week France 24 invites you to look back on the news that marked the week

I subscribe

Take international news with you everywhere! Download the France 24 app