Monday, October 4, 2021

Ethiopia’s Sisay Lemma wins men’s London Marathon

 The men’s race at the London Marathon concluded in bizarre scenes yesterday as Sisay Lemma claimed the title and was then prevented from standing on the podium as a Covid precaution.


It emerged the Ethiopian had been deemed a contact of his countryman, Kinde Atanaw, who withdrew after testing positive for the virus on Saturday.

It is understood Lemma did not spend sufficient time in Atanaw’s company on their charter flight to London to necessitate his own removal from the race, which he went on to win in 2:04.01.

However, he was promptly told to return to his hotel as a ‘precaution’, with his 67-year-old agent Gianni Demadonna standing in for pictures with the trophy on the podium.

A London Marathon statement read: ‘As announced last night, Atanaw failed a Covid-19 test and was withdrawn from the race.

Following contact tracing, all other athletes had been cleared to race. Lemma and the two other athletes tested negative in daily rapid molecular Covid-19 tests this morning prior to the race.’

Meanwhile, in the women’s race Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei was victorious on her debut in the women’s race.

Jepkosgei opted to race in London instead of defending her New York title next month. It paid off after winning in a time of 2:17.43. Degitu Azimeraw of Ethiopia was second with compatriot Ashete Bekere third.

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