Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa wins men’s marathon

World Athletics Championships: Lelisa Desisa wins men's marathon

Al-Jazeera Ethiopia‘s Lelisa Desisa has won the men’s midnight marathon in a sprint finish at the World Athletics Championships in Qatar, ending an 18-year-wait for a world title over the long distance for his country. 

Desisa, last year’s New York marathon winner and world silver medallist in Moscow six years ago, became the first Ethiopian to win the title on Sunday since Gezahegne Abera in 2001. 

The 29-year-old crossed the finish line in 2 hours 10 minutes and 40 seconds at the Doha Corniche promenade in the Qatari capital, Doha, where the temperature in the midnight race was high again but humidity far lower than at past road races.

Countryman Mosinet Geremew, four seconds behind, took silver and Amos Kipruto of Kenya the bronze.

The race in Doha ended in heartbreak for Britain’s Callum Hawkins who managed to close the gap on the leaders near the end only to finish fourth for the second time running – this time missing out on the medal by six seconds.

“This is for 100 million of Ethiopians who were behind me,” said Desisa. “I am the second man from my country to win this title and it is not just for me, it is for my country.”

As with the other road races during the championship, the race started just before midnight to escape the worst of the heat and humidity.

Conditions were less brutal than a week ago for the women’s marathon – when 28 out of the 68 runners failed to reach the finish line – although it was still 29 degrees Celsius (84F) with 48.6 percent humidity at the start, organisers said.

Fifty-five of the 73 starters completed the course for the men’s marathon, with the last runner, Nicolas Cuestas of Uruguay, finishing half an hour behind the winner.

Desisa said he had been training especially for the conditions.

“I trained in a place with these weather conditions, so this race was not hard – it was similar to my training,” he said.

The runners did six laps of a seven-kilometre loop of Doha’s waterfront. 

Other events of the championships have taken place at the Khalifa International Stadium, which has an advanced open-air and environment-friendly cooling technology to keep the pitch temperature at an optimum 26C (79F). 

The 17th edition of the world championships, the first to be held in a Middle Eastern country, will wrap up on Sunday. 


  1. Happy Irricha to the Oromo bothers and Sister. I wanted to say this before the holiday but our esteemed website was locked for a few days. Having said that I didn’t appreciate some of the Oromo extremists behavior at the celebrations.

    No one gives a damn about Jawar and his cohorts. Why would people raise his name and say ‘ touching Jawar is touching the people of Oromo ‘. He is just a thug!

    Aba Mela,

    The Woyane thug!

    The most influential groups in Ethiopia are :

    1 Oromo

    2 Neftegas

    3. Somalis

    4. Sidamas

    5. Gurages

    6. Kembattas

    7. Wlitas

    83. Woyanes

    • @Damo
      What is wrong with your nerves? cant you smell what Woyane is cooking and frying their next door Monkey Asses?
      Come on man cool to see you wishing Irrecha but ain,t getting you touching the ground with your sanity and reliability. Was just wondering how on earth some one like you losing stance freely floating in the big blue sky.
      Time to be like a man and get some space where you can stand.
      Adios para Amigos

  2. Congratulations to Lelisa Desisa and the rest of Ethiopians on their accomplishments!!
    Lelisa Desisa’s touching statement:

    “This is for 100 million of Ethiopians who were behind me,” said Desisa. “I am the second man from my country to win this title and it is not just for me, it is for my country.”

    God bless you countryman! Wishing you more successes in life!! Ethiopia needs more Ethiopians like you to spread her love and unite her children!
    As always, Deaths and miseries to the BRAINWASHED DESENSITIZED BLOODTHIRSTY cursed scum of the earth BIGOTS that disturb the spirits of peaceful people, and distroy lives!! May God expose these evildemented creatures no matter what parts of the world they live in!!

  3. Damo,
    Happy Irreecha! How Nephtagnas are the 2nd influential people in the country?
    Nephtagnas are shooting their own head and the region is going to split into two and the region is rehearsing to be Mogadishu while speaking Affan Anharic. You know why?

    1. The naphtegna political elite are so backwards and baptized by old sentiment and unable to comprehend or handle the current political chakras because they have lost their gurus and for this reason their regional politics become like singing ወላይትኛ while singing የትዝታ ዘፈን:: That is why we all become a witness for their disorder, unmethodical, unsystematic, dysfunctional, chaotic, unorganized, etc. In order to accelerate in a given systematic motion one has to use the actual, apparent, constant force, whereas nephtagnas are using pressure.

  4. It is obvIous that the bloodthirsty TPLF mafia that robbed the country blind, that left the country landlocked, that has given, sold, and stolen Ethiopia’s land, and of course that locked up, tortured mercilessly and massacred staggering number of lawful innocent Ethiopians throughout Ethiopia for 30 years are scared to death of being isolated. So, as Aba Melasam exhibited above, TPLF are kissing the kitts of the very OLF and other thugs they brainwashed and desensitized…, case in point:
    Domaras to Aba Mela:
    “”Aba Mela,
    The Woyane thug!””

    Aba Mela’s response to Domaras/Jawar:
    Happy Irreecha!
    Nephtagnas are shooting their own head and the region is going to split into two…””

    Laughable, Shintam Cowardice Woyane thug!!

  5. W/O hopeless ,

    I would rather want you not to write / mention my name . When you raise my name, I feel like I have become an Azemari.
    Please, refrain from your bad behavior.

    Why do you become jealous and angry when I congratulate the Oromos on the occasion of Irricha?

    You should know that you won’t deter me from congrdulating the Tigrians when they celebrate Ashedaye. Why you guys want us to celebrate only Kulube Gebrel and Yemariam Ken and you get angry when nation nationalities celebrate their holiday and thanksgiving? Lemen

    • Domaras/Jawar — the ISIS of Ethiopia!!
      Lol! One of the few badly brainwashed and desensitized bloodthirsty hatefilled racist bigots on Domaras/Jawar, Domaras/Jawar, Domaras/Jawar!!
      Once again, listen bigot, I only read 1/2 of one line of your trabalist separatist hate speech!! ???

  6. tries to tell us that the only good news of the week was this Marathon. No word from history of the century. They hope the world wouldn’t see Irrecha being celebrated in Finfinne by 8-10 million unless they post… This is the kind of website i have been wasting my time on…

  7. Damo,

    የነፍጠኛ ፓለቲካ ሞቷል

    1. አሰብ የዎሎ ንብረት ነው ግን ከ3ት ግዜ በላይ አንድን ነገር የሚያስበው መለስ 56 ኪ.ሜ ከአሰብ ወደ ዎሎ ገብቶ የአስማራ ንብረት እንዲሆን አድርጉዋል:: ይህ የመጀመርያው የነፍጠኛ ሞት የጀመረበት ነው:: ነፍጠኛ እራሱን ችሎ እንኩዋን እንዳይኖር መዋዕለ ንዋዩ የሌላ ሀገር ንብረት ሆነ::

    2. አባይ:- አባይ ወንዝ ምንም እንኩዋን አማራ ክልል ቢገኝም ወንዙን የምትቆጣጠረው ከአማራ ክልል ውጪ በቤንሻንጉል ክልል ነው:: ይሄ ማለት you have a resource but you can’t use it as you like. መለስ የነፍጠኛን የመኖር ህልውና ገሎ ነው ያረፈው::
    3. ጎንደር የቅማንት ሀገር ነው ወደ ዋናው ባለቤቱ መመለሱ አይቀሬ ነው ይዋል ይደር እንጂ ስለዚህ ነፍጠኛነት ጎንደር ላይ ያከትማል በርግጥ ቢኖሩም ከአረ.. ጎራው.. ጎራው.. ያለፈ ነገር አይኖርም::
    4. ግማሹ ዎሎ የትግራይ ህዝብ ነው ግማሹ የኦሮሞ ነው ስለዚህ ነፍጠኛ ዎሎ ላይም አይኖርም::
    5. ጎዛም እና ሸዋ እጣ ፈንታቸው ጥዋ ተርታቸውስ ምን ይሆናል? They will be come politically insignificant due to their population density. Like harrariii,
    6. አዴፓ ውህደቱ ተግባራዊ ካልሆነ ህዉሓት እስካለ ድረስ አልቀላቀልም እያለ ነው:: ምርጥ ስህተት!!!! እምፑዋ!!! ናት! እንደው ውህደቱ ይቆይ ይባል እና አዴፓን እናየዋለን:: ምርጥ ስህተት ናት!!! አልፅፋትም!

    7. ምርጫ! በኦሮሞ calculation ነው ገቢር የሚሆነው:: ምርጫው ቢደረግ ማን ይጠቀማል? ማን ይጎዳል? This must be the questionnaire… What questionnaire? Think this questionnaire in terms of calculus knowledge…play with
    8. Once ምርጫው መስመር ከያዘ በሁዋላ የሀገሪቱ ኢኮኖሚ ፊቱን ከፊንፊኔ ወደ ሞያሌ ነው የሚያዞረው using Mombasa port. Somalia’s will be out of political influence when you avoid using Djibouti port.

  8. Damo
    You sekaram gala do you want ye gesho tej.if the answer is yes, keep quiet.why do you go blha blha with no substantial ground.
    We know that gala wish to die than to live as life requires hard work.we all know that galas are thiefs than any other tibe in the fcuk you talking you number one,gaddamn ityou cant even fight like a men you puss,look how you perform like you are the men. shame Damo the gala.

  9. I am good now!!! I am good for the next more than a month now!!!! I hereby declare October 5, 2019 to be Lelisa and Mosinet Day!!! Did you notice how these gallant countrymen dig deep in their lion’s heart to the finish? I could sense their late glorious uncles Bikila, Wolde and Yifter the Shifter were all on their heels pushing them to the finish!!!! I may need to see a specialist soon to see how I can get rid of this serious bout of goose bump ravaging since Lemecha bin Girma almost gave me a heart attack the other day in the men’s 3,000 steeplechase final. In my book, and it must be in your too, that Lemecha was also the winner. It was for a nano second for crying out loud. I want the Ethiopian sports officials to declare that young man a winner!!!

    How about the women’s 10000 and 1500 final? Our ladies had won both the gold and silver on the 10,000 and gold and bronze medals on the 2nd one. Yes, you heard me right!!! I said our ladies meaning Ethiopians!!! What? Did I hear you say ‘Dutch’? Don’t even think about it!!!

    Lelisa had mentioned that he will participate in the next NY Marathon which is less than a month from today. Those of you who will not be working on that day should go out and root for him and his friends. And that is an order!!!! If he wins that one I’m gonna just lose it, man!!! I am gonna go out, going berserk, man!!!!

  10. Lelisa Desisa i wish u had waved Qatar, they would have make u household name by future u in their Qatar air advertisement show you waving their flag.. tag line read we r long distance specialist

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