The stars of luck were shinning hard on Italy’s Eyob Gebrehiwet at the 32nd edition of the Huawei Venice Marathon.
The local wasn’t even known to the crowd, but managed to steal the show out of sheer luck after the favorite lead pack of seven men took a wrong turn following a motorcycle guide.
Bernard Bett Kiplangat, Moses Kemei Kipngetich, Robert Kiplimo, Abdulah Shami, Mutai Kipkemei, Gilbert Chumba and David Metto Kiprono were 25km (16 miles) into the race when they took the wrong way unintentionally. They were signaled about the error minutes later but by then Gebrehiwet was two minutes ahead of them, almost about to win.
The 25-year-old underdog, who belongs to a local Venice marathon club, is now the first Italian to win the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Bronze Label road race since 1995.
At first, Gebrehiwet was almost a minute behind the leaders. However, after the men took the wrong turn, Gebrehiwet was even with just one other runner, Mohammed Mussa. Eventually, Gebrehiwet managed to leave him behind and won the race.
Gebrehiwet ran the marathon 2 hours, 12 minutes and 16 seconds, all thanks to his navigation skills.
“Today’s race shows that the work is paying off,” added the winner, already looking ahead to his next big goal, the 2018 European Championships. “It was not an easy race as I had to run alone on the Ponte della Libertà. I dedicate the win to myself as I have always believed in my work despite all the difficulties.”
The winner, who is coached by Ruggero Pertile, praised his coach after the race.
“On the eve of the race I felt pressure but I managed to stay calm as I knew that I had worked well. Ruggero is not only my coach, but also a good friend. He dedicated a lot of his time to train me. Today he gave me a lot of support along the course,” he said commending his coach’s efforts.
Thumbnail Credits: Pixabay, Maxmann