Lelisa Desisa, the reigning New York Marathon champion, won the World Championship marathon on Saturday evening in 2:10:40. Second place went to fellow Ethiopian, Mosinet Geremew in 2:10:44 and third place to Amos Kipruto of Kenya in 2:10:51. Fourth place went to British runner Callum Hawkins, who made a big push for the win but came up short, finishing fourth for a second World Championship in a row.
If you had told me two weeks ago that Hawkins would have run 2:10 in Doha I would have been sure it was enough for gold.
— Jesse Squire (@tracksuperfan) October 5, 2019
Hawkins was well behind in the beginning, but slowly made his way through the group. With just over three kilometres to go, he caught up to the leaders and made a push for the win. But 1K from the finish, Hawkins faded back, unable to keep up with the front four. Hawkins said following his race that he’d had a very long taper due to an injury, making his fourth-place finish even more impressive.
The runner still finished in a very respectable time of 2:10:57, under three minutes off his personal best in the challenging Doha conditions.
The temperature for the men’s marathon still sat at 29 C but the humidity was down around 50 per cent from the women’s event, making running more manageable.
The conditions for the marathon tonight are so much better for the athletes! 29 and like 45-50%. That’s a world of diff from 32 and 75%+. In other road races were ~8-13% off PBs, that gap could be smaller here. While some athletes might be scared, fortune may favour the bold!
— Evan Dunfee (@EvanDunfee) October 5, 2019
Several men did a lot of work and paid the price in this race. Derlys Ayala of Paraguay ran away from the field right after the gun and until 20K he remained one minute ahead of the field. He was caught just before 21.1K by Zersenay Tadese, Geoffrey Kirui and Lelisa Desisa. Tadese is a five-time world half-marathon champion, Kirui is the defending world champion and Desisa was second in the 2013 world champs marathon.
Zersenay Tadese and Lelisa Desisa in a small lead pack in the world champs marathon. Coincidentally they were two of the three main runners along with Eliud Kipchoge in the Breaking2 attempt in 2017. #WorldAthleticsChampionships
— Jason Henderson (@Jason_AW) October 5, 2019
A group of five (Tadese, Kirui, Desisa, Geremew and Kipruto) ran together for almost the entire second half but Kirui, the defending champion, dropped back just before 35K.
The Canadian men, John Mason and Berhanu Degefa, had strong results. Mason finished 36th in 2:19:21, a very impressive run given the conditions and a result which cut his rank entering the championship in half. Degefa finished 45th in 2:22:28.
Tomorrow is the final day of the championship. Mohammed Ahmed, newly crowned worlds bronze medallist, will contest the 10,000m in hopes of a second World Championship medal.