Ethiopia dominates women’s marathon on Saturday morning in Budapest at the 2023 World Athletics Championships

The third-fastest marathoner in history, Ethiopia’s Amane Beriso, claimed her first world title on Saturday morning in Budapest at the 2023 World Athletics Championships. Beriso broke away from the field in the final 10K to win in 2:24:23 on a warm morning in the Hungarian capital.

The race started as a tactical affair, with nearly 20 women passing the halfway point on a 2:29 marathon pace in 1:14:30. As the final lap of four began, Ethiopia had four women in the lead group of seven athletes until Tsehay Gemechu dropped out as Beriso started to surge. It seemed like there would be an Ethiopian podium sweep with three kilometres to go, but 10K world record holder Yalemzerf Yehualaw faded from third to fifth, losing nearly two minutes to her competition in the final kilometers.

Morocco’s Fatima Gardadi took advantage of Yehualaw’s faltering, having the race of her life to win bronze in 2:25:17, behind 2022 world champion Gotytom Gebreslase, who won silver in 2:24:34.

Beriso has had quite a track record in her last three marathons. Last December, Beriso pulled off an upset over her compatriot Letesenbet Gidey at the 2022 Valencia Marathon to win and become the third-fastest woman in history in 2:14:58. Beriso was also the runner-up at the 2023 Boston Marathon, finishing behind Kenya’s Hellen Obiri.

Wodak: “I ran as hard as I could.”

Vancouver’s Natasha Wodak was in the mix with the lead group in Budapest as she started her third lap but started to feel nauseous and fell back to the chase pack at 27km. She finished 15th overall in 2:30:09. “I ran as hard as I could,” Wodak told Canadian Running post-race. “It was tough, and I am a little disappointed.”

Wodak, 41, said her goal was to finish inside the top 10, and even though she positioned herself to achieve that, she admitted she didn’t have the legs in the final 10K. “To be 15th in the world is still a good day,” said Wodak.

Toronto’s Sasha Gollish made her return to the marathon at the world championships and savoured every minute of it. In 2019, she experienced heartbreak after failing to finish the marathon at the World Athletics Championships on a hot morning in Doha, Qatar. Today, Gollish achieved redemption, finishing 61st overall in 2:45:09 and bringing her energy for every second.

“I hope my journey inspires everyone who has not run a marathon to go out and test themselves,” said Gollish to Canadian Running. “Cause anything is possible.”

Gollish received an invitation to represent Team Canada in this marathon only a month ago after Canada’s Kinsey Middleton and Elissa Legault withdrew due to injury. Gollish was the third Canadian finisher at the 2022 TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon, where she ran a personal best of 2:31:40.

For full results from the women’s marathon at the 2023 World Athletics Championships, check here. The men’s marathon will take place tomorrow morning in Budapest at 7 a.m. C.E.T. and 1 a.m. E.T. Ben Preisner, Justin Kent and Rory Linkletter will represent Team Canada in the event.

posted Saturday August 26th
by Marley Dickinson