Israeli Olympian Marhu Teferi broke a 15-year-old country record in a marathon at the 2018 European Athletics Championships Sunday when he ran to a seventh-place finish at the race.
Teferi ran the 26.2 mile course in Berlin in exactly 2:13:00, just over two minutes faster than the 10th-place finisher and just 17 seconds off a top-five finish.
The 26-year-old started his race strong with a 15:27 5K, a pace just seven seconds behind the race’s leader. Although his pace fell further behind the leaders as the race wore on, he still clocked in at just over one hour for the half marathon, timing 1:06.40.
The Ethopian-born runner wore blue-and-white for the Israeli Olympic Team at the Rio 2016 Olympics and ran a 2:21:06 marathon, placing him solidly in the middle of the pack—74th out of 155 runners. He qualified for the sporting spectacle with a 2:18.19 race in 2016’s Rotterdam Marathon.
Teferi was edged out by three seconds in January’s Tiberas Marathon, clocking in at 2:18.35, behind countryman Girmaw Amare, who won the race in 2:15.30, the then-sixth-best time ever recorded by an Israeli.
Teferi also won Israel’s national half-marathon title in December 2015. His previous recorded personal best with the International Association of Athletics Federations was 2:17:55, recorded during April’s Paris Marathon.
Koen Naert took the crown at the European Athletics Championships, setting a championship record with a 2:09:51 race.
In other news, after winning the 10,000 meters, Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter hoped to get another medal in the 5,000 on Sunday, but because of a mental error, she stopped running with one lap left and ended up fourth.
While the 5,000 is not Chemtai’s best discipline, the 29-year-old was still confident heading into Sunday’s race. While she was in 11th place after 1,400 meters, she rallied to take the lead before faltering.
At the end of the penultimate lap, Chemtai was in second place, but then she got confused, was sure the race was over and she stopped running. At the end of the race, and after realizing her huge mistake, Chemtai found it hard to accept the decree and broke down in tears.