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Haile Gebrselassie wins Lisbon Half-Marathon - 2002-03-25

Ethiopia's two-time Olympic champion, Haile Gebrselassie, has led a dominating performance by African athletes in winning the Lisbon Half-Marathon in Portugal.

On a blistering hot day in the Portuguese capital, the Ethiopian great powered ahead of the pack in the final stages, and held on to win in 59 minutes, 40 seconds. South Africa's Hendrick Ramaala finished two seconds back, while Haile's long-time rival from Kenya, Paul Tergat, finished third.

The top eight runners on the men's side in Lisbon, and the top seven runners in the women's competition, were Africans. Susan Chepkemei of Kenya successfully defended her women's title in Lisbon, clocking 68 minutes, 23 seconds.

The race took place three weeks before the London Marathon April 14th, and Haile Gebrselassie and some of the other Africans were using Lisbon as a tune-up for the event in the British capital. Haile will be making his competitive marathon debut in London.

In addition to his two Olympic gold medals at 10,000 meters, Haile Gebrselassie is a four-time world champion at the distance. He also holds world records in the 5,000 and 10,000. And last year, the Ethiopian star won the World Half Marathon Championship in Bristol, England.