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Kenenisa Bekele wins marathon debut in Paris

Kenenisa Bekele

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 11: Kenenisa Bekele looks on during the Bupa Great Edinburgh X Country in Holyrood Park on January 11, 2014 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Kenenisa Bekele

Ian MacNicol

Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele‘s marathon debut was a smashing success. The Ethiopian broke the course record in winning the Paris Marathon in 2 hours, 5 minutes, 3 seconds on Sunday.

Bekele, the world record holder in the two longest Olympic distances on the track (5000m, 10,000m), won his first 26.2-mile race by 1:45 and beat the course mark by eight seconds.

“It’s my first marathon, and it was very tough,” Bekele said, according to Athletics Weekly. “It’s also the time I expected. After 25km I pushed alone, so it was tough. I was cramping so I was worried, but it is OK, and I finished anyway.”

Bekele, 31, swept the 5000m and 10,000m at the 2008 Beijing Olympics after winning gold in the 10,000m and silver in the 5000m in 2004. His last major world title on the track came in 2009.

The best current track distance runner, Mo Farah, will make his marathon debut in London next Sunday. The Boston Marathon is on April 21.

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