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Ethiopians Sweep 120th Boston Marathon

  • VOA News

Atsede Baysa and Lemi Berhanu Hayle, both from Ethiopia, pose for a photograph after winning the 120th Boston Marathon, April 18, 2016. Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY

Atsede Baysa and Lemi Berhanu Hayle, both from Ethiopia, pose for a photograph after winning the 120th Boston Marathon, April 18, 2016. Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY

Ethiopians have dominated the 120th Boston Marathon, winning both the men's and women's races for the first time ever.

Lemi Berhanu Hayle won the men's elite field Monday in two hours, 12 minutes and 45 seconds. Hayle defeated defending champion Lelisa Desisa, also of Ethiopia, by 47 seconds (2:13:32). Yemane Tsegay of Ethiopia was third, running the race in two hours, 14 minutes and two seconds.

The winner of the women's field was Ethiopia's Atsede Baysa, who ran the course in two hours, 29 minutes and 19 seconds. The two-time Chicago marathon winner overcame a 37-second deficit to pass fellow Ethiopian Tirfi Tsegaye, who ran the race in two hours, 30 minutes and three seconds. A Kenyan, Joyce Chepkirui, was third, with a time of two hours, 30 minutes and 50 seconds.

Many top American runners sat out the race, opting to focus on preparations for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

About 30,000 runners crossed the finish line amid tight security. A terrorist bombing in 2013 years ago killed three people and injured more than 260 others.

Two runners who lost parts of their legs in the 2013 terrorist bombings are participating in the Marathon the first time since that fateful day. Adrianne Haslet-Davis and Patrick Downes are running on prosthetic blades.

Boston Marathon bombing survivor Adrianne Haslet, center, is seen in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, before running in the 120th Boston Marathon.

Boston Marathon bombing survivor Adrianne Haslet, center, is seen in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, before running in the 120th Boston Marathon.

On April 15, 2013, two bombs containing BB-like pellets and nails were detonated 12 seconds apart near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

The next day, President Barack Obama, speaking to reporters at the White House, described the bombings as terrorists acts.

Two brothers who immigrated from Russia, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, were identified as the perpetrators. Tamerlan was killed during a shootout with police on April 19, 2013. Dzhokhar is in federal prison after being sentenced to death.

The field of runners in the 2016 Boston Marathon includes participants from all 50 U.S. states and 81 countries.

Some material for this report came from AP.

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