The Tokyo Marathon ended with an Ethiopian double as Birhane Dibaba earned victory in the women's event and Endeshaw Negesse produced an excellent display to upset the field in the men's race today.
Dibaba was the silver medallist in Tokyo last year, but ensured victory in this ninth edition of the race, producing a time of 2hours 23min 15secs.
It underlined the quality of Ethiopian female distance running, as the nation's athletes have now won the last four Tokyo marathons, with Dibaba following Atsede Habtamu, Aberu Kebede and Tirfi Tsegaye in winning the event.
Helah Kiprop of Kenya was the runner up in Japan, after finishing behind Dibaba in 2:24:03, and the podium was rounded off by another Ethiopian Tiki Gelana, who recorded a time of 2:24:26 to finish third.
The men's race proved to be a closely fought affair.
Negesse was victorious after pulling away in the remaining seven kilometres to complete the 26-mile course in 2:06:00, ahead of Uganda's Stephen Kiprotich.
Olympic champion Kiprotich also recorded a Ugandan national record of 2:06:33 just a month after his daughter Elizabeth passed away.
He was able to move away from Kenya's Dickson Chumba to earn second place on the day, but Chumba held off the challenge of Ethiopia's Shumi Dechasa to claim a third place finish in 2:06:34.
The Tokyo Marathon forms part of a new World Marathon Major Series with a prize pool of $1 million (£650,000/€880,000) up for grabs split between the men's and women's champions.
The champions will be decided at the close of the elite six race series, which also comprises the Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London and New York marathons.
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