Chicago Marathon 2012: Tsegaye Kebede Proves He's Ready to Fulfill Early Promise

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IOctober 7, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 07: Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia wins the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon  on October 7, 2012  in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
David Banks/Getty Images

Once again, it is safe to go with projections of marathon dominance for Ethiopian Tsegaye Kebede.

The 23-year-old won the men's 2012 Chicago Marathon in a course record time of 2 hours, 4 minutes, 38 seconds. Race conditions were just about perfect. It was a cool and dry day, which made the course ripe for low times, but I don't think anyone expected a time this low. 

That was not only best time ever run on that course, but according to, it is the fastest time ever posted in a marathon held on U.S. soil as it eclipsed the 2:05:05 turned in by Geoffrey Mutai in New York last year. 

The win was a nice bit of redemption for Kebede. He held the lead in the 2010 race, but was overtaken by Sammy Wanjiru in the late stages. Here is Kebede, via, following his win. 

"Two years ago, I was right here, it was the same, but I could not run. Two years ago it was Wanjiru. But this was my goal! My goal!"

Now it's time for him to turn to bigger goals.

The win in Chicago was Kebede's first marathon win since the London Marathon early in 2010. A stretch that once seemed unfathomable for this talented runner. 

In 2008, Kebede, who had yet to even hit his 20s, won the Paris Marathon in just his second-career marathon. He followed that up with a nice bronze medal run at the Beijing Olympics. 

Following the Olympics, he has not had a very busy schedule, but he has twice won the Fukuoka Marathon. 

Despite these early accomplishments, Kebede has been fading from relevancy the last two years, and he was not even an alternate on Ethiopia's 2012 Olympic team. 

Well, with a performance like the one he turned in on Sunday, he showed the world he is not only ready to be relevant, but to dominate.