Unknown runner wins marathon after leaders take wrong turn

A local runner won the Venice marathon after taking advantage of the fact that the race favourites got lost.

The marathon took place in Venice. Picture: AFP/Getty

Italian Eyob Faniel won the Venice marathon on Sunday after a bizarre incident in which the front runners were misguided.

The favorites were Abdulahl Dawud, Gilbert Kipleting Chumba, Kipkemei Mutai and David Kiprono Metto.

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They were among the leading group 25km (16 miles) into the race when the motorcycle guiding the runners took a wrong turn.

The six leaders covered several hundred metres before being made aware of the error and turning back. They lost about two minutes.

Faniel, who runs for the local Venice marathon club, was around a minute behind the leaders at the time but found himself leading the race along with Mohammed Mussa, who he immediately passed.

The 25-year-old Faniel went on to become the first Italian to win the race in 22 years.

Faniel finished in 2 hours, 12 minutes, 16 seconds, beating Mussa by nearly two minutes. Tariq Bamaarouf was third, just ahead of Chumba.

A version of this story was first published in our sister paper The i