XIAMEN, China, Jan. 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2017 C&D Xiamen International Marathon, an exclusive event managed by Xiamen SMG Sports Limited, kicked off at the Xiamen International Conference and Exhibition Center at 8 am local time on January 2. Twenty-five specially invited athletes and 30,000 runners from 31 countries and regions ran along Huandao Road, one of the world's most aesthetic venues for marathons, in an unprecedented gathering. Finally, Ethiopian runners swept the top three positions in both the men's and women's events at this year's marathon.
As was expected, Lemi Berhanu, a hot favorite for this year's competition, won the men's race with a time of 2 hours, 8 minutes and 27 seconds. As for the female runners, Meseret Mengistu Biru claimed the championship by clocking in at 2 hours, 25 minutes and 58 seconds.
The men's champion Lemi Berhanu had won first place at the 2016 Boston Marathon, in addition to garnering 13th place at the 2016 Olympic Games. In 2014, he took part in a marathon for the first time, and, following that, it took him only two years to become considered as one of the world's best athletes. He said at the post-competition interview, "Xiamen is a beautiful city and I'm very excited to join in the race on such a fine day. I really appreciate the invitation from the organizing committee. The only pity is that the hot weather impacted my performance."
Meseret Mengistu Biru, who led the women's race, had won titles at both the Paris Marathon 2015 and Beijing Marathon 2016. During the post-race interview, she said, "I'm very glad to have won the race and I'd also like to thank Xiamen and the organizing committee. It is a pity that I failed to break my own record due to the impact of the hot weather on my performance during the second half of the competition."