Ethiopians Complete 1st-Ever Sweep of Boston Marathon

Security was tight for Monday's race, the third since a pair of bombings killed three spectators in 2013

Ethiopians nearly swept the Kenyans off the podium at the 120th Boston Marathon on Monday, winning both the men's and women's races for the first time in history and taking five of the six spots on the victory stand.


Lemi Berhanu Hayle, of Ethiopia, won the elite men's division in 2 hours, 12 minutes and 45 seconds.

The 21-year-old finished just ahead of countryman Lelisa Desisa, last year's winner. The victory completed Ethiopia's first-ever sweep of the men's and women's races in Boston.

It was Hayle's first major marathon victory. He has run four smaller marathons since 2014, winning three and finishing second in Dubai in January.

Desisa finished 47 seconds back, in second place, and Ethiopian Yemane Adhane Tsegay was third to complete a sweep of the podium.

Atsede Baysa of Ethiopia won the elite women's division, with an unofficial time of 2:29:19.

The 29-year-old, two-time Chicago Marathon winner came from 37 seconds behind, with less than five miles to go and passed fellow Ethiopian Tirfi Tsegaye with two miles left.

Baysa finished in an unofficial time of 2:29:19. Tsegaye was 44 seconds back.

Defending women's champion Carolina Rotich dropped out in the first five miles.

Ethiopia went 1-2-3 in the women's race.

Defending champion Marcel Hug of Switzerland won the men's wheelchair division at the 120th Boston Marathon.

Hug crossed the finish line in 1 hour, 24 minutes and 1 second, which was just 5:36 off the course and world record. The 30-year-old edged second place Ernst Van Dyk, of South Africa, and Australian Kurt Fearnley, who was third.

The top three finished within a second of each other. Hug overtook the 10-time champion Van Dyk in the final turn off Boylston Street and outsprinted Van Dyk and Fearnley to the line.

Hug's time was nearly five minutes faster than his 2015 win.

The women's wheelchair division was also won by last year's champion, Tatyana McFadden of the United States. It was her fourth victory in a row.

McFadden completed the 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton to Copley Square in an official time of 1 hour, 42 minutes, 16 seconds. That is 8:10 behind the record pace because of a headwind.

McFadden was born in Russia and adopted by an American woman as a small child. The 26-year-old McFadden lives in Clarksville, Maryland.

She was wearing a singlet honoring Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed in the 2013 finish line bombings.

On a clear and windless day, cool temperatures at the start warmed to 62 degrees by the time the winners reached the Back Bay. It was supposed to reach the mid-70s later in the afternoon — an added challenge for the rest of the 30,000-runner field that left Hopkinton in four waves Monday morning.

Most of the top Americans, including 2014 winner Meb Keflezighi, skipped the race after running in the U.S. Olympic trials in February. Other countries pick their teams for the Summer Games by committee, and the performances in Boston could help Desisa and Hayle earn a ticket to Rio de Janeiro.

Zachary Hine of Dallas was the top U.S. man, finishing 10th. Neely Spence Gracey, of Superior, Colorado, was the first American woman to finish, coming in ninth.

Security was tight for Monday's race — the third since a pair of bombings killed three spectators and wounded more than 260 others at the finish line in 2013.

Two people who lost limbs in the bombings ran this year's race. Adrianne Haslet and Patrick Downes both lost legs in the attacks. They were part of the mobility-impaired division.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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