Eritrean teen makes marathon history in Beijing

Ghirmay Ghebreslassie of Eritrea celebrates winning the Men's Marathon during the IAAF World Athletics Championships 2015. Photo: Getty Images

Ghirmay Ghebreslassie overcame stifling heat and an all-star line up featuring the world’s best long distance runners to become the youngest man to win the marathon at the Athletics World Championships last weekend.

The 19-year-old finished in a time of two hours 12 minutes 27 seconds, securing Eritrea's first ever World Championship gold medal in the process.

He managed to hold off Yemane Tsegay of Ethiopia by 40 seconds, while Munyo Solomon Mutai of Uganda came third.

In a race with just 42 finishers, defending world champion and 2012 London Olympic gold medallist Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda came sixth. Kenyan stars Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto struggled in the heat and stepped off the course after the 20-mile mark.

Afterwards the jubilant champion Ghebreslassie said, ‘Ever since I was a child, I grew up in such conditions, so it was very nice for me.’