Gotytom Gebreslase: “Women Can All Be Winners When They Work Hard”

Ethiopia's Gotytom Gebreslase won the women's marathon at the World Athletics Championships breaking a 17-year-old World Athletics Championships record. Photo: World Athletics (Twitter)

Ethiopia’s Gotytom Gebreslase won the women’s marathon at the World Athletics Championships breaking a 17-year-old World Athletics Championships record.

The 27-year-old who made her marathon debut with a victory in Berlin last year marked her championship debut at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon with a personal best time that bettered Paula Radcliffe’s mark of 2:20:57 at the 2005 Helsinki World Championships.

Gebreslase beat Kenya’s Judith Korir in Eugene in a time of 2hrs 18 minutes and 11 seconds. Her victory came after breaking clear of Kenya’s long-time leader Korir in the final two kilometres, with the latter, also making her first championship appearance, clocking a personal best of 2:18:20 as well.

“I am very happy and I want to give all the glory to God. The Kenyan runner asked me to pass her but I stayed patient. Towards 40km, I felt strong and decided to leave.”

“Working hard is the key factor. I worked hard in my hometown. I know the Kenyans are tough but I have last-minute high speed so I used that speed and won the Championships.”

Regrettably there’s been ongoing conflict back home in Ethiopia’s Northern Tigray since 2020. Gebreslase showed her emotion after the race, breaking into tears when asked what her victory meant for her and her country. She hopes peace can prevail in her country after winning.

“I wish all Ethiopians to be victorious in everything. Women can all be winners when they work hard for themselves and for their countries.

“And I wish peace in my country, in all of Ethiopia.”

Israeli Lonah Salpeter secured third spot on the podium a year after she had dropped out of bronze medal contention at the Olympics in Sapporo, where she slumped to 66th after having to stop with cramps.

 

Photo 1 Caption: Ethiopia’s Gotytom Gebreslase won the women’s marathon at the World Athletics Championships breaking a 17-year-old World Athletics Championships record. Photo: World Athletics (Twitter)

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