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Bashir Abdi sets new European marathon record in Rotterdam

Belgium's Bashir Abdi has pulverised the European marathon record in Roterdam. The Somali-born athlete set a new European best of 2 hours, 3 minutes and 35 seconds, shaving 41 seconds off the previous top chrono.  

Ghent resident Abdi became a Belgian hero last summer, taking a bronze medal at the Olympic marathon. He had said he would try and break the European mark next, and succeeded. 

The conditions in Rotterdam were almost perfect: it was not too windy, and not too hot on a sunny autumn day. Bashir had a difficult moment over halfway, around kilometre 28, but had divided his race very well, leaving some energy for the final part. 

He accelerated and shook off competition from his last challengers, also extending his virtual lead on the European record. This belonged to Turkey's Kenya-born Kaan Kigen Özbilen since 2019 (2h04:16).

Abdi is only the second Belgian to win the Rotterdam marathon. Vincent Rousseau also did it in 1994, covering the 42 kilometres and 195 metres in 2h07:51.

VIDEO: Bashir Abdi in the streets of Rotterdam:

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