Kenyan clean sweep at Athens Marathon

James Saina led a Kenyan clean sweep at the Athens Classic Marathon yesterday. Saina, 35, crossed the finish line at the marble Panathenaic Stadium in 2 hours, 16 minutes, 5 seconds – 10 seconds ahead of compatriot Sammy Chemweno. Countryman Paul Kanda finished third in 2:16.58. The women’s event was won by Measo Sisay in 2:38.39, ahead of fellow Ethiopian Hirur Abera, who finished in 2:41.30. Greek veteran Georgia Abatzidou was third in 2:42.50. Italy’s 2004 Olympic marathon gold medalist, Stefano Baldini, fired the starter’s gun at Marathon. Some 3,000 athletes ran in the 23rd edition, which was held on the same day as the New York Marathon. The race traces the legendary course taken in 490 BC by the messenger who ran from Marathon to Athens to announce the victory of the Athenians over an invading Persian army at the plain of Marathon before dropping dead from exhaustion. The incident was recounted by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus. The race was first established when the modern Olympiad was revived in 1896 in Athens. (AP)

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