Ethiopia's Bekele wins Paris Marathon
Competitors run along the Champs Elysees at the start of the 38th Paris Marathon on April 6, 2014 - by Thomas Samson
The 31-year-old 5,000m and 10,000m world record crossed the line in an event record time of 2hr 5min 02secs after negotiating a sunbathed course of 42.195km (26.22 miles) through the streets of the French capital.
The previous Paris record was held by Kenya's Stanley Wiwott who clocked 2hr 05:10 in 2012.
Fellow Ethiopian Getachew Negari Terfa, who set a course record at Xiamen in 2013, came home second with Luka Kanda of Kenya, the 2012 Rome winner, claiming the final spot on the podium in third.
"It was my first marathon and I didn't have much experience," said the 31-year-old triple Olympic champion.
"It was very tough but it was the time I expected. After 25km I pushed alone but it was very tough." added
Bekele emulated his great compatriot Haile Gebreselassie who also made a successful step from the track to marathon and has the third fastest time in history.
Bekele made his move with about 25km to run and opened up a lead that may have been even more significent had he not struggled with what appeared to be a hamstring problem.
"The hamstring wasn't good after 25km. It was cramping but it's ok. I'll feel it more in the morning," explained Bekele.
He missed out on the world record which is held by Kenyan Wilson Kipsang who set a mark of 2hr 3min 23secs in 2013 at Berlin.