Desisa drops out of NYC Marathon after taxing win in Doha

Lelisa Desisa

FILE – In this Oct. 6, 2019, file photo, Lelisa Desisa, of Ethiopia, wins the men’s marathon at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar. The IOC is seeking to relocate next summer’s Olympic marathon from steamy Tokyo to the cooler northern city of Sapporo after seeing competitors collapse in extreme heat at the world championships in Qatar. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty, File)

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NEW YORK (AP) — Reigning men’s champion Lelisa Desisa dropped out of the New York City Marathon after completing just seven miles following a grueling victory at the sweltering world championships last month.

Desisa, who is from Ethiopia, was in 17th place at the seven-mile mark before leaving the course Sunday. A race representative says Desisa felt hamstring pain.

Desisa was attempting to defend his title 29 days after winning worlds in Doha, Qatar, in boiling conditions he described this week as “dangerous.” With a temperature of 84 degrees F (29 degrees C) for the midnight start, 18 of 73 men didn’t finish that race.

Conditions were even worse for the women’s marathon in Doha, where 28 of 68 starters failed to finish.

Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya won the men’s event for the second time in three years. It was 45 degrees F (7 degrees C) at the start of the NYC Marathon, ideal for the racers.

Shortly after worlds, the IOC announced plans to move next year’s Olympic marathon from steamy Tokyo to the cooler northern city of Sapporo, leading to a spat with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike. She conceded to the IOC on Friday.


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