Kenya-Ethiopia sign deal to boost athletics between the two nations

The deal was signed before the Eldoret City Marathon took place on Sunday

DOHA, QATAR - OCTOBER 04: Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya, gold, and Lamecha Girma of Ethiopia, silver, cross the finish line in the Men's 3000 metres Steeplechase final during day eight of 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 at Khalifa International Stadium on October 04, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Organisers of the Eldoret City Marathon and the Great Ethiopian Run have inked a deal to provide more opportunities for athletes in terms of competition.

The partnership between the two races which were founded by two athletics legends – Moses Tanui of Kenya and Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia was signed on Saturday, April 9.

Speaking in Eldoret on Sunday during the fourth Eldoret City Marathon where he was the chief guest, Ethiopian ambassador to Kenya Meles Alem said the deal will bring new opportunities for both countries and ultimately help athletes compete internationally.

"A partnership between the two countries is what we have always waited for and I'm happy the journey has started. More opportunities will be created for athletes when we have more of such races in Africa," he said.

Great Ethiopian Run officials Yetnayet Mekuria and Muluemebet Bahiru were also present during the race.

The two were on a benchmarking trip as they prepare to host the 22nd edition of Africa’s biggest annual mass-participation event set to take place on November 22, 2022.

"We have today witnessed a great race and we hope the partnership will be able to improve sports between the two countries and improve on the athletes' welfare. We shall be happy to see athletes winning in Africa just as they also compete and win in Europe," said Muluemebet.

Victor Kipchirchir successfully defended his Eldoret City Marathon title to claim the Sh3.5 million winning prize.

Kipchirchir crossed the finish line at 2:13:10 followed by Michael Mutai, who crossed the finish line at 2:13:23 and Josphat Bett took home third place at a 2:13:58 time.

The women's race was won by Emily Chebet who clocked 2:29:58 while Shyline Jepkorir and Lilian Jelagat finished at second and third place respectively.

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