Victory and European record at the Rotterdam marathon
Bashir Abdi is the first European to win the Rotterdam Marathon since 1998, with a time of 2:03:36. He also set a new European record in this discipline.
The Ghent resident was not necessarily the favourite at the start of this 40th Rotterdam marathon. Two other competitors had a better personal best than him over this distance, notably the event's last winner, the Kenyan Marius Kippered.
Bashir Abdi showed a great deal of patience at the beginning of a race that started very fast, preferring to wait 36 kilometres before attacking and outrunning his main Kenyan rival. Once the finish line was crossed, the Belgian could start to celebrate, "I am really happy! I chose to run this marathon because I feel at home in Rotterdam, it's almost a home race. I received a lot of encouragement along the way, the spectators were shouting like crazy, I almost went deaf!"
Bashir Abdi becomes the second Belgian to win the Rotterdam marathon, after Vincent Rousseau in 1994 with a time of 2:07:51. At the age of 32, he achieved a time of 2:03.36, which means he slashed his personal record and knocked 40 seconds off the former European record held by Turkish runner Kaan Kigen Özbilen.
The Ghent runner has once again achieved a magnificent feat, two and a half months after bringing home a wonderful bronze medal from the marathon at the Tokyo Olympics.