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XIAMEN, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) — Ethiopian runners dominate in both men’s and women’s competition at the 2020 Xiamen Marathon, the first Gold Label road race of the year.

25-year-old Ethiopian Birhan Nebebew Tesfaye clocked 2:08:16 to win the men’s title. He was the silver medallist in 2019 Xiamen Marathon and his personal best of 2:06:52 was set in 2019 Lisbon Marathon.

“Compared with last year, the committee had adjusted the race course. It helps me improve my result. Also, the weather is comfortable,” Tesfaye said.

He was followed by Kenyan athlete Reuben Kiprop Kerio whose result was 2:08:46. His compatriot Grimay Birhanu Gebru ranked third and clocked 2:08:52.

Chinese runner Yang Dinghong timed 2:13:50 in Sunday’s race, ranking first among Chinese athletes in men’s event.

In the women’s race, the Ethiopians were more outstanding. Medina Deme Armino, 22, clocked 2:26:12 to defend women’s title, creating her personal best.

She was followed by her compatriots Mesera Hussen Dubiso and Afera Godfay Berha, finishing 2:26:28 and 2:26:42 respectively.

Chinese athlete Li Zhixuan finished in 2:32:44, best among the Chinese women athletes.

A total of 35,071 runners from 41 countries and regions participated in the event, making it the largest marathon in China. Runners were selected from 82,205 applicants across the world.

This year’s Xiamen race invited 24 outstanding runners to meet the 2020 IAAF platinum label standard, including 12 male labeled runners, 12 female labeled runners and five official pacers.

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