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Ethiopia's Gena wins Rome Marathon

Updated: March 21, 2010, 10:19 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

ROME -- Siraj Gena of Ethiopia paid tribute to an Olympic hero in winning the Rome marathon on Sunday, running barefoot while outsprinting two Kenyan rivals to the finish.

Gena took off his shoes with about 500 yards left and then outkicked Benson Barus and Nixon Machichim to finish the 26.2-mile race in 2 hours, 8 minutes, 39 seconds.

Gena was paying homage to Ethiopian Abebe Bikila, who won the 1960 Olympic marathon in Rome after running the entire course without shoes.

"I ...

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