Negari breaks record to win Xiamen Marathon

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Getachew Terfa Negari of Ethiopia claimed the men's title at the 2013 Xiamen International Marathon by setting a new course record on Saturday.

Negari wins Xiamen Marathon with new record

Getachew Terfa Negari of Ethiopia crosses the finishing line to claim the men's title at the 2013 Xiamen International Marathon in South China's Fujian province on Jan 5, 2013, by setting a new course record of 2:07:32. [Photo by Cui Meng / Asianewsphoto]

Negari who has run in Xiamen Marathon for five times and finished second twice in 2009 and 2010 finally stood on the top podium after he clocked two hours, seven minutes and 32 seconds to win the race, cutting the former course record by five seconds.

After crossing the finishing line the excited Negari knelt down and kissed the course to celebrate his victory.

According to the organizers, the winning time of Negari was also the best time in all marathon races ever held in China, with the old record being 2:07:35.

Paul Kipchumba Lonyangata of Kenya finished second in the men's race with a time of 2:07:44 while Sahle Warga Betona, also from Ethiopia, finished third in 2:08:39.

The title of the women's race also went to an Ethiopian runner with Fatuma Sado Dergo clocking 2:27:35 to finish first. Kenya's Eunice Jepkirui Kirwa clocked 2:30:00 to settle with the second place. Eyerusalem Kuma Mutai of Ethiopia was four minutes and 31 seconds behind and finished third.

The best result achieved by local runners was a fourth place finish by Wang Xueqin in 2:34:56.

The Xiamen International Marathon, which was launched in 2003 and rated by IAAF as the Gold Label Road Race, is renowned for its charming seaside scenic course. The whole course follows largely the scenic sections of the coastal island city.

The 2013 edition featured 73,896 entrants and the races also included half-marathon, 10-kilometer marathon, 5-kilometer marathon, wheel-chair marathon and roller-skate marathon.

American sprinter Justin Gatlin and China weightlifting Olympic champion Li Qingfeng, a Xiamen native, both attended the opening ceremony of as promotion ambassadors of Xiamen Marathon.

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