Abrha Milaw wins Paris Marathon to prevent Paul Lonyangata hat-trick

Ethiopian athletes Abrha Milaw (left) and Gelete Burka celebrate their victories in the 2019 Paris Marathon. KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images

PARIS: Abrha Milaw bettered his personal best to upset two-time defending champion Paul Lonyangata and win the Paris Marathon as Ethiopian runners shone in the French capital on Sunday.

Milaw powered away with less than three kilometres to go to complete the 42.195km in 2hr 7 min 5 sec, improving his previous best mark by 20 seconds on a cold and sunny morning.

Compatriot Asefa Mengistu was second, 20 seconds behind, with Kenyan Lonyangata, winner of the previous two editions, third in 2:07:28.

In the women's race, Gelete Burka led an Ethiopian 1-2-3 when she clocked 2:22:47 to win from Azmera Gebru and Azmera Abreha, who finished five and 48 seconds behind, respectively.

"It was very very cold for me, it's difficult to breathe in these conditions but I'm very happy," said Burka.

Clemence Calvin, who was allowed to race after the Council of State, one of the country's highest courts, lifted her provisional suspension, took fourth place by beating the French record.

She clocked 2:23:41.

Calvin, the European championships runner-up, had been provisionally suspended by the French Anti-Doping Agency after allegedly avoiding an out-of-competition control in Morocco.

She denied any wrongdoing, and the Council of State on Friday allowed her to race.