Bahrain’s Ali Hasan Mahboob wins Asiad marathon

Mahboob took gold in a time of 2 hours, 12 minutes and 38 seconds

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Ali Hasan Mahboob of Bahrain won the Asian Games men’s marathon on Friday, concluding the athletics events at the continental competition in which three Asian records fell.

Mahboob took gold in a time of 2 hours, 12 minutes and 38 seconds, with Kohei Matsumura 1 second behind in second place, followed by Japanese teammate Yuki Kawauchi.

Mahboob is past winner of the Asiad 5,000 and 10,000 meters. Originally from Kenya, he changed his nationality to the Arab state in 2005.

His win comes days after Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto set a new world marathon record of 2:02.57 in Berlin, raising the bar for distance runners worldwide.

While relatively new to the event, Mahboob said he would work with his coaches over the winter to lower his marathon time. “Slowly by slowly. Time will tell,” he said.

Mahboob’s win is the ninth athletics gold medal for tiny Bahrain at the Asiad, as the island nation continues its policy of nationalizing athletes from other countries.

It has not won gold in any other sports in the South Korean port city of Incheon.

On the second-to-last day of the Asian Games, China leads in the overall medal tally, with 142 golds. Host South Korea is second with 73 and Japan third with 46.

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