Ethiopia's Tsegaye Mekonnen and Portugal's Jessica Augusto raced to victory in Sunday's Hamburg marathon.
In the men's race, Mekonnen dug deep to post a winning time of two hours, seven minutes and 26 seconds, eventually outrunning former Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich, who was five seconds back as the runner-up.
Meanwhile, Augusto was the class of the field in the women's event, coming home more than four minutes ahead of Megertu Ifa, who was second, and Viola Kibiwot in third. The Portuguese's winning time was 2:25:30.
Here are the top three finishers in the men's and women's race from Hamburg and a look back at how an exciting marathon played out.
|Hamburg Marathon: Top Finishers|
|1.||Tsegaye Mekonnen (ETH) 2:07:26||Jessica Augusto (POR) 2:25:30|
|2.||Stephen Kiprotich (UGA) 2:07:31||Megertu Ifa (ETH) 2:29:47|
|3||Jacob Kendagor (KEN) 2:08:50||Viola Kibiwot (KEN) 2:30:33|
Full results available at the event's official website.
The race started in testing conditions for the runners as the rain tipped down in Hamburg. But, as noted by the event's official Twitter feed, some quick times were expected:
In the men's race, it was Mekonnen who made the early running, and as the competitors approached the halfway stage, the Ethiopian had started to open up a substantial lead.
Indeed, at the 30-kilometre mark, with the help of a pacemaker, Mekonnen was 30 seconds clear of the rest of the field and on course for a fast time. But there were some quality runners in the chasing group, including Kiprotich.
Indeed, the 2012 Olympic champion kept calm as Mekonnen moved clear and gradually upped the pace himself to move alongside the leader.
Given the way the Ugandan had paced his race, it looked as though he would be in control in the final stages. But Mekonnen dug deep to cling on and eventually outlasted Kiprotich in a dramatic sprint finish.
Per DMC in Sports, he was delighted as he crossed the line:
In the women's event, there was also a competitor who made a relatively early break. After a quick pace gradually slowed in the middle phase of the marathon, it was Augusto who decided to put her foot down.
Between kilometres 30 and 35, the Portuguese had established a 90-second gap to her competitors, and while Mekonnen had been reeled in slowly earlier in the day, Augusto just kept on going.
Ahead of the race she had outlined her intention to better the Portuguese record of 2:23:29 set by Rosa Mota in 1985. And it was clear Augusto was holding nothing back as she chased down not only that marker but her own personal best of 2:24:25.
However, with no other competitors able to keep pace with the leader, maintaining speed did become something of a challenge in the final stages. It meant there was no national record and no personal best for Augusto, although a comprehensive victory represented an excellent consolation.