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Tola, Dida win Dubai Marathon 2023 titles

Dubai Marathon 2023

Tamirat Tola should be a proud man today, not for his own athletic achievements, but for those of his wife Dera and brother Abdisa who won the Dubai Marathon crowns this morning, and the US$80,000 prize that went with victory.

Tola, Dida win Dubai Marathon 2023 titles

Dera Dida hasn’t competed for three years, partly due to the pandemic but largely due to giving birth to daughter Fenant almost two years ago. Two of her three previous marathons had been in Dubai, with her best being seventh in 2.21.45, in an ultra-fast race in 2018. But in a more tactical affair today, where she was led for long periods by her colleague Ruti Aga, Dida proved the shrewder, taking the initiative two kilometres from the finish and running out winner in a personal best 2.21.11. Aga was a dozen seconds behind in second, and third was another Ethiopian, Sitanesh Yirga in 2.21.59.
‘When I took the lead I was sure that I would win’, 26 year-old Dida said afterwards. ‘It was a wonderful race and of course it was very emotional when I realized that Abdisa had won as well’.

Brother-in-law Abdisa Tola ran equally confidently, the more so since it was his debut marathon. But he added a touch of drama he could have done without when he went off course with three kilometres to run, just after he made a decisive effort to get away from two colleagues. It was only a brief diversion, but he had to settle back behind Haymanot Alew and Deresa Gelete as they tried to get away from him in turn. But he was more than equal to their pace, and after waiting another kilometre, he struck for home in a similar fashion to Dera, ultimately winning in 2.05.42, for the fifth win by a debutant in the last ten editions of the race. Gelete was second in 2.05.51, with Alew third in 2.05.58.

After a three year hiatus due to the pandemic, there was a change of venue, to Expo City outside of Dubai downtown, and a change of course pushed the race back three weeks from its regular date; but the feared warmer conditions didn’t materialise. The weather was just about perfect, with a temperature of 13C (55F) for the 6am start, rising to to no more than 18C (65F) at the finish of the women’s race.

Tamirat Tola incidentally is the current world marathon champion, having won in Eugene last summer; he previously won world silver and Olympic bronze. But it was wife Dera and sibling Abdisa who took centre stage in Dubai today.

Dubai Marathon 2023 RESULTS

1 Abdisa TOLA ETH 2.05.42
2 Deresa GELETE ETH 2.05.51
3 Haymanot ALEW ETH 2.05.58
4 Gebretsadik ABRAHA/ETH 2.06.07
5 Abraraw MISGENAW/ETH 2.06.39
6 Kemal HUSEN ETH 2.08.09

1 Dera DIDA ETH 2.21.11
2. Ruti AGA ETH 2.21.24
3 Siranesh YIRGA ETH 2.21.59
4 Fikrte WERETA ETH 2.22.50
5 Tigist GETNET ETH 2.23.17
6 Meseret KITATA ETH 2.23.53