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Naali claims debut marathon win

28 July 2002

Tanzanian Francis Naali recorded a memorable men’s marathon victory in his first ever marathon.

Men's marathon

The men's marathon gets underway in Albert Square

The new Commonwealth champion finished ahead of Kenya’s Joshua Chelanga and Andrew Letherby who claimed Australia’s fourth marathon medal of the day.

Naali’s time of 2:11.58 was run in perfect marathon conditions under an overcast Manchester sky.

Naali said afterwards: “I am very happy about winning today as this is the first marathon I have ever done. It was a difficult race but it went very well for me”

Francis Naali

Francis Naali on the home straight at the City of Manchester Stadium

Letherby meanwhile finished strongly and powered into the bronze medal position on the home straight pushing Kenya into fourth spot.

“With about half a mile to go I realised I was in with a chance. My plan was to stay relaxed and hang in there; it was just a case of conserving myself until the end,” said a delighted Letherby

Info News Service/jc/ar

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