Girma Amara breaks Israeli men’s marathon record
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Girma Amara breaks Israeli men’s marathon record

A week after Lonah Chemtai Salpeter smashes Israeli women’s best marathon time, men’s record is broken at Valencia race

A week after a runner shaved over 11 minutes off the previous Israeli women’s marathon record, Girma Amara broke the Israeli men’s marathon record on Sunday morning in Valencia.

The 31-year-old broke the previous record held by Marhu Teferi by 25 seconds, finishing the grueling race in 2:12:35.

Teferi only broke the 15-year-old Israeli marathon record last year at the European European Athletics Championships in Berlin, finishing the run in 2:13:00 and breaking the previous record of 2:14:11, held by Ayele Seteng since 2003.

Amara finished the Spanish competition in 15th place, guaranteeing him a spot at next September’s World Championship in Athletics in Doha.

He was born in Ethiopia and immigrated with his family to Israel in 2006.

שאפו ענק לגירמה אמרה Girma Amare מהפועל אורן השרון על שבירת השיא הישראלי במרתוןאלוף ישראל ב-5000 מ' סיים במקום ה-15…

Posted by ‎איגוד האתלטיקה IAA‎ on Sunday, 2 December 2018

Last week Lonah Chemtai Salpeter won the Florence Marathon, crossing the  finishing line in 2:24:17, and smashing the previous record of 2:35:59 set two years ago by Elena Dolinin.

Chemtai already held the Israeli records for 1,500, 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 meters, and the half marathon.

It was only the fifth time Chemtai had competed in a marathon and it set her on course to compete in the event in the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter celebrates on the podium with her gold medal following the women’s 10000m event during the European Athletics Championships in Berlin on August 9, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / Tobias SCHWARZ)

Born in Kenya, Chemtai moved to Israel in 2011 and had been fighting for citizenship for years.

She originally came to Israel in 2008, as a nanny for a diplomat at the Kenyan embassy. A keen runner, she was introduced to Israeli coach Dan Salpeter, and the two fell in love.

When her stint working for the Kenyan diplomat was up, Chemtai returned to Kenya, where the couple decided to marry in hopes of later moving to Israel. They now have a young son.

Stuart Winer contributed to this report.

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