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Venice Marathon lead motorcycle takes race favourites off course

The incident allowed local Italian to win the race ending a 22-year drought

Venice Marathon

A mishap at the front of the course at Italy’s Venice Marathon erased a sizeable deficit between the eventual winner and the then-leaders on Sunday.

According to the Guardian, the favourites were in contention when the lead motorcycle took a wrong turn. The report adds that the leaders covered “several hundred metres” before the mistake was realized and the athletes turned back, in the process losing approximately two minutes. According to the IAAF, the lead pack was comprised of seven runners, Bernard Bett Kiplangat, Moses Kemei Kipngetich, Robert Kiplimo, Abdulah Shami, Mutai Kipkemei, Gilbert Chumba and David Metto Kiprono. “The lead pack of seven men followed the lead motorcycle who had taken a wrong turn,” writes the IAAF.

The wrong turn occurred near 24-25K.


Eyob Faniel – his name is listed as Eyob Gebrehiwet per the IAAF – became the first Italian, in 2:12:16, to win the point-to-point race in 22 years. The Eritrean-born 25-year-old runner was one minute behind the leaders when the top-seven men’s marathoners took a wrong turn, according to the Associated Press via the Sydney Morning Herald.