London Marathon: Tiki Gelana adds to town's illustrious list
Saturday 20 April 2013
When Tiki Gelana won Olympic gold in London last year she was only doing what has become expected of a runner from the small town of Bekoji, some 170 miles south of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
The 25-year-old became the latest in an illustrious list of Olympic winners from the town. Fatuma Roba – who won the 1996 marathon – Tirunesh Dibaba, Deratu Tulu and Kenenisa Bekele have all run out of Bekoji and into the Olympic record books.
“Coming from somewhere that’s produced such great runners inspires me every day,” said Gelana, who makes her London Marathon debut on Sunday. “I see local runners winning gold medals and that gives me a real morale boost.”
There is one feature that does make Gelana stand out – she revels in running in the rain. Poor weather hampered most of her rivals in London but she produced a remarkable second half of the race, completing it in under 70 minutes to snatch a surprise gold by five seconds from the Kenyans.
It is the Kenyans who will again challenge her tomorrow. Priscah Jeptoo, training partner of this week’s Boston winner Rita Jeptoo, won silver behind Gelana at the Olympics, and is one of four Kenyans in the elite field. Experienced Japanese runner Yoko Shibui will also expect to challenge.
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli scored as many goals for AC Milan on second debut as he did for Liverpool in the Premier League last season
Cyprus vs Wales match report: Gareth Bale's bullet header has Welsh on brink of Euro 2016
Jose Mourinho: Chelsea manager has four Guinness World records hanging in his office
Manchester United will pay Monaco £7.2m extra if Anthony Martial scores 25 goals in four years as deal could rise to incredible £58m
Pedro hits outs at Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal for treatment of Victor Valdes
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 3 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 4 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...
£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...
£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...