Ethiopians take top 3 spots in Dubai Marathon

MICHAEL CASEY AP Sports Writer Published:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Lelisa Desisa overtook countryman Berhanu Shiferaw in the final half mile to lead an Ethiopian sweep at the Dubai Marathon in his debut at the distance Friday, finishing in 2 hours, 4 minutes, 45 seconds.

The 23-year-old Desisa was among six runners following Shiferaw for most of the race. The pack was reduced from 10 to six at the 20-mile mark and Desisa moved past Shiferaw with about a half mile left. He extended his lead with 200 yards to go and beat his countrymen by 3 seconds. Tadese Tola was 7 seconds back in third.

Desisa was 22 seconds off last year's race record.

Ethiopia's Tsegayae Beyene won the women's race in 2:23:23 to beat countrywoman Kiros Reda by 16 seconds.