Firehiwot Dado is surprise winner in New York

Firehiwot Dado, 27, lives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and until today, she was little-known on the major marathon scene despite three winning performances in the Rome Marathon (2009-11).

In her New York debut, she waited patiently to take the lead, and when she made her move in Central Park, between miles 23 and 24, no one was able to match her fire. She won her first major marathon in 2:23:15, with fellow Ethiopian Buzunesh Deba on her heels and made her talent evident to the world.

EspnW caught up with Dado, who spoke through a translator, following her victory.

Did you expect to catch Mary Keitany, who was leading throughout most of the race?

I didn't imagine that we would catch her [Keitany]. When we saw her, I was very happy and surprised.

Was the first half of the race too fast?

Yes, the early pace was a bit too fast. After that, it was harder, and we couldn't go too fast.

How did you become a marathoner?

I began running in school. My coach, Haji [Adilo], encouraged me and pushed me to start the marathon. I had no intention of doing that.

How do you feel now?

I'm very happy. It was a tough race, and I didn't expect this result.

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