Ethiopian runners claim Rīga marathon double

Ethiopian Andualem Belay Shiferaw came first in the Tet Riga marathon this Sunday, reaching the finish line after two hours, 8 minutes, and 51 seconds, setting a new record. In the woman's race, Shiferaw's fellow national Birke Debele came first, finishing at 2 hours, 26 minutes, and 18 seconds, and also setting a new Riga marathon record, the organisers announced. 

After the finish, Shiferaw criticized his winning performance in an interview on Latvian Television, saying that he had hoped to finish in two hours and seven minutes. Nevertheless, he was pleased with his victory. The previous record holder – at two hours and eleven minutes – was last fellow countryman Cedat Ajana last year.

Kenyan runners secured the second and third places in both the men's and the women's races. In the men's race,  Silas Kiprono Too (2.12:27) took the second, and Julius Tuwei (2:14:04) the third. In the women's race, Worknesh Alemu (2.27:38) took the second, and Kumeshi Deresa (2.29:44), the third.

Dmitrijs Serjogins, who came tenth at 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 10 seconds, earned the title of the Latvian Champion in the men's race.

Karīna Helmane-Soročenkova, who came eleventh at 2 hours, 54 minutes, and 32 seconds, earned the title of the Latvian Champion in the women's race.

Latvia's most successful marathon runner, Jeļena Prokopčuka, did not reach the finish line due to illness.

This year, the Riga Tet Marathon was awarded the International Association of Athletics Federations' (IAAF) highest ranking, a Gold Label, which will give athletes the chance to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. The qualifying standards for the Olympics Games are 2 hours, 11 minutes, and 30 seconds (for men), and 2 hours, 29 minutes, and 30 seconds (for women).

Jānis Višķers won the half-marathon with the result of 1 hour, 5 minutes, and 59 seconds. Among women, the first to reach the finish was Israeli-American athlete Beatie Deutsch, who came  at 1 hour, 17 minutes, and 34 seconds.

Full race details are available at the official website of the event.

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