April 16, 2012
Yemane Adhane of Ethiopia won the Rotterdam Marathon in 2 hours, 4 minutes and 48 seconds Sunday, battling through a stiff breeze to pull away from countryman Getu Feleke with 500 meters to go.
Moses Mosop was third and had his bid to break fellow Kenyan Patrick Makau's world record of 2:03:38 set at last year's Berlin Marathon blown off course by the wind.
"We knew it would be tough with such a strong wind," said race organizer Mario Kadiks, who had pulled together a strong field and started the race a half hour earlier than usual in a bid to break the world record.
Mosop, known as "The Big Engine," was the man expected to threaten the world mark. He set a personal best time of 2:03:06 in finishing second at last year's Boston Marathon, where times were not recognized by the athletics governing body.
But it was the Ethiopian pair of Adhane and Feleke who weathered the wind and chilly temperatures around Rotterdam better than Mosop and other favored Kenyans.
The Ethiopians ran as a two-man group from around 30 kilometers and both men were ahead world record pace until the 35 kilometer mark, when the weather and lack of pacemakers finally began to take its toll.
The pair worked well together to keep up the pace, with Feleke even turning and giving his countryman a drink bottle after Adhane had dropped his.
If the 27-year-old Adhane was grateful, he did not show it as he kicked away from Feleke on the home straight. His winning time was the second fastest in the world this year, after Ayele Abshero's 2:04:23 in Dubai in January.
Mosop ran alone in third for the final 30 minutes and could not reel in the Ethiopians.
Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia won the women's race in 2:18:58 - the fastest time of the year, a new course record and a personal best.
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