Ethiopians win international half marathon in Vadodara

Vadodara: Ethiopians walked away with the top prizes in the elite category in the international half marathon flagged off by BJP`s Prime Ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi here on sunday.

The Ethiopians finished in top three positions in the men`s and women`s elite 21 km category.

Ethiopia-based Negewo Asera Mengstu came first in the 21 km elite men`s category, clocking one hour three minutes and 45 seconds and he was awarded a prize of Rs 2,50,000.

Keneni Ifa Balda, who clocked one hour, three minutes and 46 seconds stood second, winning a prize of Rs 1,25,000.

In 21 km open international women category, Gebreslasea Letbrahm from Ethiopia, who completed the
race in one hour, 11 minutes and 37 seconds, was given a prize of Rs 2,50,000. Glean Yewbdar Tesgome, who covered the distance in one hour 11 minutes and 40 seconds, got the second prize of Rs 1,25,000.

Around 12,000 participants, including international runners, had turned up at Navlakhi compound located in the middle of the city.

"When it comes to marathons, Vadodara has set a benchmark for cities. I congratulate all of you," Modi told a cheering crowd. The race was flagged off by 7.30 am.

Eminent sportspersons and international players were followed by elite category runners.