Photo by: Mikiyas Kelemework
By Haileegziabher Adhanom
Dubai, January 24, 2020 – Ethiopian’s Workinesh Degefa 02:19:38, and Olika Adugna 02:06:15 wins an Ethiopian dominated 2020 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon in a more spectacular fashion.
Olika, a debutant in the event, claimed victory in the highly and closely contested men’s race, finishing two seconds ahead of another newcomer, Kenyan Kiprono Kiptanui (02:06:17). While his compatriot Abeje Ayana settled for third place in 02:06:18. Just three seconds separated all the podium finishers.
“I planned to run 02:06 before I came here, but luckily I won the race too. I don’t have any words to describe how I feel. I’m honored and happy about my first marathon victory,” Olika said in the post-race press conference.
Ethiopian marathon record holder and the sixth fastest women in the world, Workinesh Degefa won the race for a second time, despite struggling too much with a back pain during the course of the race. She saw off challenges from her compatriots Shone Amana (02:20:11) and Hirpa Badane (02:21:55), who finished second and third respectively.
Workinesh said: “I had a good preparation for the race and planned for a better time, but the pain I felt during the race made me think of dropping out, especially around the 35th km mark. Nonetheless I convinced myself to stay strong and focused and with God’s will, I managed to overcome it (the back pain) and win the race again.”
It was another Dubai Marathon race dominated by Ethiopian athletes, where 18 of the best 20 places from both categories were occupied by Ethiopians.