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Controversy At Honolulu Marathon

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Dec. 12, 2010
Belainish Gebre's boyfriend was photographed handing her fluids at the Honolulu Marathon on Sunday. Photo: Hawaii News Now

Belainish Gebre's boyfriend was photographed handing her fluids at the Honolulu Marathon on Sunday. Photo: Hawaii News Now

An official protest was filed in the women’s race.

Belainish Gebre of Ethiopia won the women’s race at the 2010 Honolulu Marathon on Sunday. The 22-year-old Gebre broke the tape in 2:32:13. She was awarded a $40,000 first prize.

But her victory was not without controversy.

Second-place finisher Svetlana Zakharo of Russia filed a protest afterwards, claiming that Gebre had received fluids from Ezkayas Tsegaya, Gebre’s boyfriend. This allegation has since been confirmed by race photographers and spectators.

“I know that rule. In our side, any manage or people no the outside, they give anything, you take it, you disqualified,” said Tsegaya.

However, Tsegaya denied that he was Gebre’s coach. “We don’t have coach, we just train together” said Tsegaya. “She give me advice, I give her advice, something like that,” Tsegaya maintained.

Gebre had been a late entrant to the race and therefore was not afforded the opportunity to use the elite fluid stations positioned every 5K. Because of this fact, Dr. Jim Barahal, the race’s president ruled that Gebre was not in violation of race rules.

In the men’s race, Nicholas Chelimo of Kenya won controversy-free in 2:15:18.

For More: Hawaii News Now

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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