Wed, 27 Sep 2023

Morocco's Goumri wins Sydney Marathon

17 Sep 2023, 21:30 GMT+10

SYDNEY, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Morocco's Othmane El Goumri was crowned the men's champion in Sunday's 2023 Sydney Marathon after finishing the 42km course in 2:08:20.

Wearing a black armband in tribute to the victims of a deadly earthquake in his country earlier this month, Goumri told reporters that he didn't think he would make the trip to Sydney, as his loved ones had been affected by the disaster.

The 31-year-old said that he was thinking about all the people in his country throughout the whole race and dedicated his victory to them.

Laban Kipngetich Korir of Kenya finished second, 23 seconds behind, with Ethiopia's Getaneh Molla Tamire clocking 2:11:22 to round out the top three.

In the women's race, Betsy Saina of the United States stormed to win in 2:26:47, six seconds ahead of Ethiopia's Rahma Tusa Chota. Gladys Chesir Kiptagelai of Kenya finished third in 2:28:41.

Canada's three-time Paralympian Joshua Cassidy charged to a 1:41:52 triumph in the men's wheelchair marathon, while Madison de Rozario of Australia conquered the women's event in 1:59:41.

With the maximum temperature surpassing 30 degrees Celsius on Sunday morning, over 17,000 runners entered the race, making it the largest marathon ever held in Australia.

Sinead Diver, a 46-year-old IT consultant, a mother of two, and also an Australian elite runner who finished 10th in the women's marathon at the Tokyo Olympics, told Xinhua that it was a tough marathon and a hot day, but the phenomenal crowd pumped her up.

"The support was amazing. It was really good fun running our hometown marathon," said Diver.

Having taken up running at the late age of 33, Diver revealed that she enjoyed the training process for a marathon, especially the longer, more grinding sessions.

"The marathon itself is really tough, but if you prepare well for it, it can be really rewarding," she added.

After becoming the first marathon in the Southern Hemisphere to achieve Platinum Label status last year, the Sydney Marathon is now in its second year of a three-year candidacy period to become a major marathon.

The marathon route passed by a string of Sydney's iconic landmarks, including the Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour, Hyde Park and Sydney Opera House.

Chinese-Australian Nero Zhang, who finished 77th in 2:46:45, detected some changes to this year's course, noting that there were increased turn-backs, more trails and higher cumulative elevation gain compared to previous editions.

"We had more enthusiastic crowd this year and the number of marathoners also hit a record high. It felt good that someone was always out there accompanying you during the race," Zhang added.

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