A youth movement during the Dubai Marathon raised a few eyebrows Sunday as debutant Tigist Ketema won in 2:16:07 and 19-year-old Addisu Gobena won in 2:05:01.

Ketema improved the course record by more than a minute known as a middle-distance runner. She is now the eighth-fastest marathon runner of all time.

Dubai is known as a race long dominated by Ethiopians. The course is dead flat.

Women’s race

The first two finishers in 2023 were Dera Dida and Ruti Aga. They were shocked by the 25-year-old Ketema.

With Aga determined to improve over her second-place finish last year, she took the early lead. A pack of five lead through 10K clocking a 32:18. The pack split up at 22K, but had crossed the half-split timing mat in 1:08:07. This is where Dida began drop off.

Ketema’s looking comfortable for the entire race made a move at 37K. There, she opened up a two-minute lead on Aga and crossed the finish line in 2:16:07.

Ten women ran sub-2:30.

Men’s race

Addisu Gobena led for much of the race. At first there was a group of 12 that ran through 10K in 29:33. There were eight by the halfway point where Gobena had clocked a 1:01:53 21.1K performance. It was an aggressive start.

The pace slowed during the second half. Three remained through 30K which included Gobena, Dejene Megersa and Abdi Fufa.

Gobena, dropped the pace during the final kilometre for the win in 2:05:01. It was an Ethiopian sweep. Dumecha and Dejene Megersa, another first-time marathon runner finished second respectively clocking 2:05:20 and 2:05:42 performances.

Gobena is the nephew of Aga.

Twelve men ran sub-2:10.

Results women

KETEMA, TigistETH2:16:07
AGA, RutiETH2:18:09
DIDA, DeraETH2:19:29
KEJETA, MelatGER2:21:47
JEMAL, FozyaETH2:21:53
ESHETE, ShitayeETH2:21:55
ANMUT, AtalelETH2:22:23
AFENIGUS, BetelihemETH2:25:57
NIGUSE, EmebetETH2:27:12
10 SHIMELS, NuritETH2:28:28
11 MISGANAW, ChernetETH2:32:10
12 Yusupova, AnnaAZE2:42:25
13 Gonzalez Leyva, LeonardoMEX2:55:55
14 Jordan, KateGBR2:58:34
15 Clarke, GillianIRL3:02:16

Results men

GOBENA, AddisuETH2:05:01
DUMECHA, LemiETH2:05:20
MEGERSA, DejeneETH2:05:42
FUFA, AbdiETH2:06:23
FITWI, SamuelGER2:06:27
DAGNACHEW, AntenayehuETH2:06:55
CHEBII, Douglas KipsanaiKEN2:08:15
TESFAYE, LenchoETH2:08:25
TESHAGER, BayelignETH2:08:56
10 DESSIE, AbebawETH2:09:09
11 DESALEW, AbebawETH2:09:11
12 TEFERA, Asefa ETH2:09:35
13 AMBELU, GossaETH2:10:22
14 TSEGAY, SamuelSWE2:11:42
15 ARIKAN, Polat KemboiTUR2:12:37
16GOITOM, EmbayETH2:13:07
17ATSBEHA, KahsayETH2:13:29
18 FIKADU, SisayETH2:14:20
19 BEHAILU, KetemaETH2:16:22
20 LEMA, Gurmessa ETH2:18:06

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