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Clean sweep by African runners at Istanbul marathon

Turkey,Sports, Sun, 11 Nov 2012 IANS

Istanbul, Nov 11 (IANS) Kenyan male athletes swept medals of all hues at the Eurasia marathon held here Sunday.

Stephan Chebogut came first in 2:11:05 followed by Kiprotich Yegon in 2:15:35 and Evans Kiplagat in 2:16:43, reports Xinhua.

Ethiopian Koren Jelela Yal won women's title with 2:28:06 in the event's 34th edition.

Nearly 13,000 athletes from 88 countries and regions, including Germany, Italy, France and Turkey, came out to hit streets of downtown Istanbul and competed in three categories: the 42-km run, the 15-km run and the eight-km run.

This is an international athletics event organised by the city's metropolitan municipality every year on a Sunday in October or November since 1979.

Most people eyed the eight-km fun run, the trademark event of the day which attracted around 80,000 racing amateurs.

This year, the Eurasia Marathon was promoted to the gold category by the International Association of Athletics Federations, marking an important jump in status.

Turkish Athletics Federation chairman Mehmet Terzi praised the improvement the marathon has made over the years.

"This race has important meaning for me. I have raced here numerous times and had some of my best performances here," said Terzi, a former long-distance champion.

"Comparing today's situation with the times I have competed, I can say that what was left unchanged is that the marathon is still 42,195 km."

The men's and women's winners will each receive $50,000. Runners-up will receive $25,000 and third place will get $15,000.

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