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Tamirat Tola Sets Course Record & Hellen Obiri Triumphs in New York City Marathon
Ethiopian dominance with a new course record and Kenyan resurgence with a first place finish, characterized the 2023 New York City Marathon.
Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia broke the course record to claim victory in the men's division of the New York City Marathon on Sunday, while Hellen Obiri of Kenya surged ahead in the last 400 meters to secure the women's title.
Tola completed the race in 2 hours, 4 minutes, and 58 seconds, surpassing Geoffrey Mutai's 2011 record of 2:05:06. He left his compatriot, Jemal Yimer, behind as they approached the Bronx at the 20-mile mark. By the time he reentered Manhattan a mile later, Tola had established a 19-second lead and was in pursuit of Mutai's record. This victory marked Tola's first World Marathon major title after finishing third in the London Marathon earlier this year. Speaking about the incredible support from New York spectators, Tola said, "The people of New York [are] amazing. I work hard training, so it is confidence for me."
Kenyan Albert Korir secured second place with a time of 2:06:57, while Ethiopian Shura Kitata claimed third place in 2:07:11. Yimer eventually fell back and finished in ninth place.
While the men's race was largely decided before the final few miles, the women's competition came down to the wire. Obiri, Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia, and defending champion Sharon Lokedi constantly exchanged the lead. Obiri made a decisive move as the trio returned to Central Park for the final half-mile, ultimately finishing in 2:27:23. Gidey secured second place, just six seconds behind, and Lokedi took third place with a time of 2:27:33. Obiri's victory in New York added to her triumph at the Boston Marathon in April, making her the first woman since Norwegian Ingrid Kristiansen in 1989 to win both marathons in the same year.
In the women's race, Hellen Obiri narrowly outpaced Ethiopia's Letesenbet Gidey in ideal marathon conditions, completing the race in 2:27:23, with Gidey finishing just six seconds behind. The women's competition unfolded dramatically, with Obiri showcasing an extraordinary final kick to defeat Gidey and finishing ten seconds ahead of last year's champion, Sharon Lokedi, who also hails from Kenya.
The men's race saw Tola triumph as he crossed the finish line in Central Park, with Kenyan Albert Korir securing second place and Ethiopian Shura Kitata taking third.
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