Ethiopian becomes youngest woman to win London Marathon after accident

Mildred Europa Taylor October 03, 2022
Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw overcame a fall to win. Photo: Twitter/Yalemzerf Yehualaw

Yalemzerf Yehualaw became the youngest woman to win the London Marathon on Sunday despite an accident. The Ethiopian athlete recovered from a fall to win the women’s race. 

The Guardian reported that “she endured a spectacular faceplant on a sleeping policeman speed bump with six miles to go. It sent the Ethiopian sprawling, caused considerable soreness to her hip, hand and knee, and left her at least 25 metres behind the leading pack.”

But the 23-year-old recovered to rejoin the leading pack. She finally crossed the line first to make history at the London Marathon. Her victory, at 2 hours 17 minutes 25 seconds, was the third fastest time in the history of the women’s race, behind only Paula Radcliffe and Mary Keitany. It was also the fastest time in history and an Ethiopian record, according to CNN.

“I was heading to a water station so I did not see the bump coming,” Yehualaw said after the race. “It was very painful. I have lost some feeling in my hip, knee and my hand. They are still sore now.”

Defending champion Joyciline Jepkosgei, of Kenya, came second at the event.

The men’s race was won by Amos Kipruto, the 30-year-old Kenyan who won the bronze medal at the 2019 World Athletics Championships. He was also second at the 2022 Tokyo Marathon.

Per Guardian, Yehualaw runs 180km to 195km a week in training. She runs for the same NN group as the men’s world champion Eliud Kipchoge. The Ethiopian’s plan now is to be back in London in April to defend her title. 

“It is my first time in London so I am so happy to win. People were shouting a lot and it inspired me. But the longer plan I have is that I would like to next time break the world record,” she said. Ethiopian becomes youngest woman to win London Marathon after accident

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