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Africa

Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele wins Paris marathon with new record

media Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia crosses the finish line to win the 38th Paris Marathon Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes

Ethiopian triple Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele won the 38th Paris marathon on Sunday, beating previous event records with a time of two hours five minutes and two seconds. Kenyan Flomena Cheyech won the women's race in a time of two hours 22 minutes 41seconds.

The 31-year-old 5,000m and 10,000m world record-holder ran to victory on the 42.195km course on a sunny April in Paris morning, continuing his transition from track to marathon in style.

"It was my first marathon and I didn't have much experience," he said. "It was very tough but it was the time I expected. After 25km I pushed alone but it was very tough."

The previous Paris record was held by Kenya's Stanley Wiwott who clocked two hours five minutes 10 seconds in 2012.

Another Ethiopian, Limenih Getachew, came second this year at two hours six minutes 49 seconds with Luka Kanda of Kenya, the 2012 Rome winner, third at two hours eight minutes two seconds.

In the women's race, Kenya's Flomena Cheyech won at two hours 22 minutes and 41seconds, beating Ethiopians Yebrgual Melese by three minutes 37seconds and Ahmed Zemzem by three minutes 14seconds.

"I'm very happy, the course was good," said a delighted Cheyech. "I wasn't that fast but in the middle of the race, I felt confident and just told myself to keep running."

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