African runners break men's & women's Amsterdam Marathon record
Ethiopian Tamirat Tola broke the record for the Amsterdam marathon on Sunday with a time of 2:03:38. Kenyan Lawrence Cherono held the previous record after finishing the Amsterdam marathon in 2:04:06.
Tola was one of six runners left with a chance at winning the title at the 35th kilometer of the race. The Ethiopian gained the upper hand in the final three kilometers of the race, ultimately finishing first.
His compatriot Leul Gebresilase initially remained close behind him, but Kenyan Bernard Koech passed him in the final phase. Koech came in second around half a minute after Tola.
Kenyan Angela Tanui, the first woman to cross the finish line in the 2021 Amsterdam marathon, broke the record for the women with a time of 2:17:57. Ethiopian Degitu Azimeraw was the previous record holder after running the Amsterdam marathon in 2:19:26 in 2019.
Khalid Choukoud was the first Dutch runner to finish the marathon with a time of 2:10:25. Choukoud also claimed the title of Dutch champion in 2016 with a personal best of 2:09:55 on the classic distance of 42.185 kilometers.
Defending Dutch champion Abdi Nageeye was absent in Amsterdam. He has been focusing on the New York marathon instead.
The women's title went to Ruth van der Meijden. The 37-year-old athlete from Greosbeek finished in 2:29:56, only just above her personal best of 2:29:30 during the Enschede marathon earlier this year. Van der Meijden also won the national title in 2016.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.