To commemorate the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's homecoming day, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Dhaka Marathon was held on Sunday. Apart from the locals, some 200 athletes from different countries including France, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Bahrain, Maldives, Nepal participated in the marathon.
The race began at the Army Stadium and ended in Hatirjheel. Besides Bangladeshi athletes, the ones from Morocco, Kenya and Ethiopia dominated in different categories.
Hosting the marathon was an extraordinary achievement as global competitions have been on hold due to the pandemic.
Hicham Laquoahi from Morocco became the champion in the men's elite event, taking 2 hours 10 minutes 40 seconds to complete the marathon. His compatriot Aziz Lamvabi came second and Kenya's Jacob Kivet finished third. The length of the full marathon was 42.195 kilometres.
Kenya's Angella Jim Asunde finished first in the women's elite event. She took 2 hours 29 minutes and 4 seconds to complete the race. Taking 2 hours 32 minutes and 31 seconds, Ethiopia's Fantu Ethisa Jimma came second and the next position was attained by her compatriot Birup Tahit.
Indian athletes dominated the SAFF category with Bahadur Singh coming first in the men's event. He finished the marathon in 2 hours 11 minutes and 34 seconds. Pushpa Bhandari from Nepal was the women's SAFF event champion, taking 2 hours 59 minutes and 41 seconds to finish.
Fardin Mia topped in the Bangladeshi runner's category, finishing in 2 hours 9 minutes and 2 seconds. Kamrul Hasan and Firoz Khan came second and third respectively.
Edwin Kiprov from Kenya became the champion of the men's half marathon event. He finished the race in 1 hour 4 minutes and 11 seconds. His compatriot Naum Jebeth was the winner in the women's elite event, taking 1 hour 14 minutes and 42 seconds. The length of the half marathon was 21.097 kilometres.
In the Bangladeshi runners' half marathon event, Md. Sohel Rana came first. He finished the race in 1 hour 15 minutes and 16 seconds. The next two positions were attained by Elahi Sardar and Al-Amin.
In the women's event of the same category, Papia Khatun topped the chart, taking 1 hour 42 minutes and 36 seconds. Sumi Akter and Sarwat Parvin came second and third respectively.
The winners in different categories were awarded by General Aziz Ahmed, Chief of Army Staff and president of Bangladesh Olympic Association. He announced that the marathon will be hosted regularly from now on.
Earlier, acknowledging the marathon, president of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (Aims) Paco Borao stated, "I hope that the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib marathon will be completed successfully and continue to be hosted every year. I would like to thank the government of Bangladesh and Bangladesh Army for hosting this."