Beijing 2015: Ghebreslassie delivers first Eritrean gold

Eritrea‘s Ghirmay Ghebreslassie won the first gold medal of the 2015 IAAF World Athletics Championships on a very hot and sunny morning in Beijing, China on Saturday.

destroyed a packed field that includes Ugandan defending world champion from Moscow 2013, Stephen Kiprotich, Kenyan World marathon record-holder, Dennis Kimetto and the former record-holder Wilson Kipsang to take the men’s marathon race victory in 2:12.28.

The 19-year-old became the youngest ever winner of a road event at the IAAF World Championships and the first Eritrean athlete to win a gold medal at the world championships.

Ethiopian claimed the silver medal in 2:13:08 and Ugandan Munyo Solomon Mutai completed the Beijing 2015 podium taking the bronze medal in 2:14:30.

Defending champion Kiprotich was sixth in 2:14:43 while pre-race favourites Kimetto and Kipsang once again disappointed after they failed to finish the race in the Chinese capital.

At the press conference afterwards, Ghebreslassie said: “I thank my manager and the officials of my federation who supported me and gave me the chance to qualify for these championships.

“It’s the first (World Championships) gold medal in Eritrean history and it’s very special for me. It gives me motivation to continue hard for next year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.”