De­sisa, Rotich cham­pi­ons of Bos­ton Marathon

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY JIMMY GOLEN

Lelisa De­sisa ran through the rain to earn a sec­ond Bos­ton Marathon victory and his first chance to en­joy it.

The 25-year-old Ethiopian broke the tape again on Boyl­ston Street on Mon­day as the world’s most pres­ti­gious marathon tried to re­turn to its rou­tine two years af­ter De­sisa’s first Bos­ton win was over­shad­owed by the twin ex­plo­sions at the fin­ish line.

“Lelisa did not get to have the kind of victory cel­e­bra­tion that a cham­pion of the Bos­ton Marathon should have,” Bos­ton Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion spokesman Jack Flem­ing said, in­ter­rupt­ing the post-race news con­fer­ence to place the cham­pi­ons’ tro­phy at De­sisa’s side. “Lelisa, we want you to get your due to­day.”

De­sisa won the 2013 race just hours be­fore two bombs killed three peo­ple and wounded 260 oth­ers, turn­ing what should be the pin­na­cle of any dis­tance run­ner’s ca­reer into an af­ter­thought. On Mon­day, he fin­ished in 2 hours, 9 min­utes, 17 sec­onds to claim a golden olive wreath, the US$150,000 (NT$4.667 mil­lion) first prize and a win­ner’s medal to re­place the one he do­nated to the city in mem­ory of the vic­tims.

“This medal, I think, is for me,” said De­sisa, who waved to the crowd as he sprinted past the bomb sites. “I took off my hat and started wav­ing my hands be­cause I love the Bos­ton peo­ple.”

Kenya’s Caro­line Rotich won the women’s race, beat­ing Mare Dibaba in a shoul­der-to-shoul­der sprint down Boyl­ston to win by 4 sec­onds on a cold and rainy day that thinned the crowds but didn’t lessen their en­thu­si­asm for the city’s sig­na­ture sport­ing event.

“I got to the last cor­ner and I saw the fin­ish line tape and I thought, ‘This is it, I’m not go­ing to let it go,”’ said Rotich, who won in 2:24:55 to col­lect US$150,000 and give Kenya its fifth straight women’s cham­pion. “I was like, ‘No, not to­day.’ And I kept go­ing.”

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