Ethiopian Runner Tigist Ketema Sets Record for Quickest Women’s Debut Marathon in Dubai

Ethiopian Runner Tigist Ketema wins Dubai Marathon with record

In a spectacular display of athleticism and determination, Ethiopia’s Tigist Ketema etched her name into the annals of marathon history by not only securing victory in the women’s race at the Dubai Marathon but also shattering the world record for the fastest marathon debut. The 25-year-old athlete clocked an astounding 2:16:07, showcasing not only her innate talent but also the culmination of dedicated training and a transition from track running to the grueling marathon distance.

Tigist Ketema’s debut performance was nothing short of extraordinary, as she not only claimed victory but also secured the eighth fastest time ever recorded in the history of women’s marathons. Her remarkable achievement saw her demolish the previous Dubai Marathon course record by a remarkable one minute and one second. The previous record holder, Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia, had set the bar high with her debut win at the Valencia Marathon in 2:16:49 on December 4th, 2022.

Having initially tasted success as the African Under-20 Championships winner at 800 meters on the track, Tigist Ketema made a seamless transition to marathon racing, showcasing versatility and adaptability as an athlete. Her journey from shorter distances to the demanding marathon reflects not only her physical prowess but also the strategic decision-making that underpins a successful athletic career.

The Adidas-sponsored athlete expressed her elation at the unexpected triumph, stating, “I’m very happy to win my first marathon; it’s not something I expected to happen on my debut.” This victory not only underscores her natural talent but also the meticulous preparation and hard work she invested in transitioning to marathon racing. The move from track to marathon, motivated by a desire for more satisfying results, has proven to be a strategic and fruitful decision for Ketema.

Reflecting on her preparations, Ketema acknowledged the challenges posed by the fast-paced nature of the race but emphasized her readiness, stating, “I’ve worked very hard on my marathon preparations, and although it was a fast race, I trained well for it and felt ready coming into it.” Her dedication to the training regimen is a testament to the discipline and commitment required to excel in marathon racing, a discipline known for its physical and mental demands.

The Dubai Marathon, with its scenic route along Umm Suqeim, Jumeirah Beach, and Al-Sufouh waterfronts, provided the backdrop for Ketema’s historic achievement. The course, offering breathtaking views of iconic landmarks such as the Burj Al-Arab, Madinat Jumeirah, and The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi, added to the allure of the event. Ketema’s victory not only brings personal glory but also contributes to Ethiopia’s dominance in both the men’s and women’s elite races, with Addisu Gobena securing the men’s title in 2:05:01.

Tigist Ketema’s world-record-breaking marathon debut is a testament to her talent, dedication, and strategic decision-making. Her journey from track success to marathon triumph not only adds a new chapter to her athletic career but also serves as an inspiration to aspiring athletes worldwide. As she basks in the glory of her unexpected victory, Ketema’s achievement will undoubtedly resonate as a defining moment in the history of women’s marathon running.

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