BEIJING, Aug 22 (Reuters) – Teenager Ghirmay Ghebreselassie claimed the first title of the Beijing world championships for Eritrea on Saturday, easing clear of his rivals over the final six kilometres to win the men’s marathon.
The 19-year-old grabbed his nation’s flag as he entered the Bird’s Nest stadium and crossed the line in two hours, 12 minutes and 27 seconds to give Eritrea its first world championships gold medal.
Ethiopian Yemane Tsegay, who led briefly before Ghebreselassie’s final surge, crossed the line 40 seconds behind the Eritrean while Uganda’s Solomon Mutai claimed bronze in 2.13.29.
Eritrea’s only previous world championship medal was a silver for Zersenay Tadesse in the 10,000m in 2009. (Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Ian Ransom)