Ethiopians Sweep 2016 Boston Marathon

Atsede Baysa of Ethiopia crosses the finish line of the 2016 Boston Marathon to win the women's title. (Photo: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports)


April 18, 2016

Ethiopian runners sweep men’s, women’s titles at Boston Marathon

BOSTON — Atsede Baysa only appeared to drop out of contention in the hills outside of the city.

She was actually just being patient.

Baysa rallied from a deficit of 37 seconds with 4 miles to go, catching up to the leaders and cruising past them to lead a sweep for Ethiopia in the Boston Marathon on Monday.

“I was feeling the strength coming from the lead group, but I know my pace,” Baysa said through an interpreter. “When I pace, I know I can beat them. So I moved, caught them and pushed the pace at the end.”

Did she ever. Baysa leaped from nowhere in sight to striding all alone down Boylston Street and finished with a time of 2 hours, 29 minutes and 19 seconds.

Tirfi Tsegaye of Ethiopia was second (2:30:03) and Joyce Chepkirui of Kenya took third (2:30:50).

In the men’s race, Lemi Berhanu Hayle broke away from defending champion Lelisa Desisa over the final mile to claim his first marathon title and complete the first sweep for Ethiopian runners in the Boston Marathon. Runners from the same country hadn’t won both the women’s and men’s crowns since Kenya’s Sharon Cherop and Wesley Korir in 2012.

Baysa’s win was the biggest surprise, especially considering the wide gap between her and three runners more than half a minute ahead around the 22-mile mark.

Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia leads Lemi Berhanu Hayle of Ethiopia along the course. (Photo: USA TODAY Sports)

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