Aneeta, Yemata emerge champions

Aneeta, Yemata emerge champions

VICTORIOUS Ethiopia’s Mikiyas Yemata (left) and Aneeta Chaudhary of India won the men’s and women’s titles respectively in the Bengaluru Marathon at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday. DH Photo/ S K Dinesh

Mikiyas Yemata never doubted himself. Although he was given a tough time by his compatriot Teereee Shewangzaw, the Ethiopian persevered and came out with flying colours in the Bengaluru Marathon here on Sunday.

In the men's marathon that had close to 2000 participants, Yemata and Teereee were in a league of their own. They went toe-to-toe with each other until the last kilometre when Yemata changed gears and edged ahead. He crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 35 minutes and 20 seconds.

Teereee timed 2:36:29 and India's Ari Krishnan S clocked 2:37:21 to finish third at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here.

Yemata was exhausted after the race but pleased with the result. "I am very happy. I was really tired in the last kilometre but I am glad to have crossed the finish line (first). The guy (Teeree) who finished second is a strong athlete. So it was very difficult but I am a winner so I am very happy," said Yemata.

Unlike the men's event, there was hardly any competition in the women's marathon as India's Aneeta Chaudhary took her own sweet time to complete the race. She clocked 3:11:53 to bag the title.

She admitted to being slow as per her own standards but also blamed it on lack the elite competitors at the event. "I was a bit slow because there was no other competitor. Otherwise, it was really good," said Aneeta.

Aneeta, who hails from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, was especially delighted to have beaten Ethiopian Zenash Bekele Mamo, who timed 3:16:56.

"She (Zenash) was ahead of me on the first part but I caught up with her in second and defeated her," Aneeta said. Another Indian Swati Panchabudhe timed 3:23:05 to settle for the third place.

In the half-marathon, which had over 7000 runners, Kenya's Evans Saitoti emerged winner after clocking 1:08:54 in the men's section. He was followed by Ravi Prakash of India (1:10:31) and Bayu Tulu of Ethiopia (1:11:22).

In the women's section, Birtukan Shewaya of Ethiopia was cut above the rest as she comfortably raced to victory. She clocked 1:29.19. Nitu Singh and Rajashri Tarihal, both from India, took the second (1:36:26) and third (1:39:03) places respectively.

Results: Marathon: Men: Mikiyas Yemata (Ethiopia) 2:35:20, 1; Teeree Shewangzaw (Ethiopia) 2:36:29, 2; Ari Krishnan S (2:37:21), 3.

Women: Aneeta Chaudhary (India) 3:11:53, 1; Zenash Bekele Mamo (Ethiopia) 3:16:56, 2; Swati Panchabudhe (India) 3:23:05, 3.

Half-marathon: Men: Evans Saitoti (Kenya) 1:08:54, 1; Ravi Prakash (India) 1:10:31, 2; Bayu Tulu (Ethiopia) 1:11:22, 3.

Women: Birtukan Shewaya (Ethiopia) 1:29:19, 1; Nitu Singh (India) 1:36:26, 2; Rajashri Tarihal (India) 1:39:03, 3.