Malaysia’s marathon record holder, Leo Tan (instagram/LeoTan)

Despite the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, the Taipei Marathon hosted the largest mass race in the world since the outbreak with 28,000 runners in the event.

Malaysia’s fastest marathoner, Leo Tan recorded another blistering fast time at the recent Taipei Marathon by crossing the finish line in 2:23:13. At the World Athletics Bronze Label race, the Taiwan-based engineer bettered his previous personal best of 2:24:04.

Undoubtedly, the marathon record holder of Malaysia was the hot favourite to represent Malaysia in the 2019 SEA Games, however, Leo was unfortunately nursing an injury. With the result of the Taipei race in his favour, perhaps the upcoming regional games in 2021 will mark his comeback.

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Leo Tan improved on his personal best marathon time in Taipei. (Facebook/LeoTan)

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The men’s race was won by Paul Lonyangata of Kenya in 2:09:18, who smashed the previous race record of 2:09:59. Compatriot Elisha Rotich placed second in 2:13:07 while Tiidrek Nurme of Estona placed third in 2:16:11. In the women’s race, Askale Merachi from Ethiopia crossed the finish line solo, way ahead of her nearest rival in 2:28:31. Her compatriot Asifa Kasegn was second in 2:32:00 with Zinash Mekkonen completed the podium sweep for Ethiopia in 2:32:24.

In view of the pandemic, organisers had the 12 elite runners from eight countries abiding by strict protocols including a 15-day quarantine. While in quarantine, the organisers had put treadmills in each athlete’s hotel room to enable them to keep up their fitness and allowed track access in the final two days before the race.

Source: World Athletics

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Askale Merachi wins the women’s title at the Taipei Marathon 2020. (World Athletics)