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Friday, September 22, 2023

Madison de Rozario rolls to victory in the Sydney Marathon, African stars dominate

Star Australian wheelchair racer Madison de Rozario added Sydney marathon to her list of international victories as Moroccan runner Othmane El Goumri and Kenyan Betsy Saina claimed the men’s and women’s elite events.

On a hot but clear Sydney morning, where feared smoke haze had mostly cleared as forecast, a record 17,000 runners began the race – making it the biggest ever marathon held in Australia.

El Goumri proved to be the strongest in an elite men’s field, making his move in Centennial Park and driving home to victory at the finish line at the Opera House. On a re-designed, hilly course – and with hot temperatures – El Goumri’s time of 2:08:20 was outside the event record but enough to claim the win, ahead of Kenyan Laban Korir and Getaneh Molla Tamire, from Ethiopia.

Brett Robinson was the top-placed Australian in eighth place, with a time of 2:23:05.

Competitors run across the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Competitors run across the Sydney Harbour Bridge.Credit: Getty

The women’s race was tighter for longer, but Kenyan Betsy Saina pushed away in the last five kilometres to win in 2:26:47, ahead of Rahma Chota and Gladys Kiptegai.

After struggling with injury all year, Aussie star Sinead Diver ran superbly to finish eighth in 2:31:27.

In her first Sydney marathon, de Rozario was dominant and claimed an easy win, stopping the clock at 1:59:41, almost 13 minutes ahead of the second place getter.

It added Sydney to the list of big victories for the Tokyo Paralympic gold medallist, including the London and New York marathons.

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