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Homecoming Reception For Ethiopian NYC Marathon Winners

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Published on Nov 8, 2011

New York (TADIAS) - Firehiwot Dado and Buzunesh Deba were greeted like homecoming queens with cheers and applause as they arrived for dinner at the Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant in Manhattan on Sunday evening, following their stunning victory at the 2011 New York City Marathon.

Firehiwot Dado, 27, won her debut New York City Marathon in 2:23:15, finishing four seconds ahead of Buzunesh Deba. It was the second-closest women's finish in NYC race history.

"This is my first time coming to New York," Firehiwot said. "It's one of the top five [international] competitions. That I won prepares me and gives me hope for the next Olympics." She added: "My plan is to win gold at the Olympics."

The New York media had shown up at the midtown eatery after learning that the local hero, Buzunesh Deba, would be dining there. She was visibly emotional as fans, friends, and strangers waited for a chance to hug and kiss her.

Deba, who led Dado until the two overtook Mary Keitany of Kenya, said running in her Bronx neighborhood had inspired her to pick up the pace and added that she was pleased with the result because "my friend won."

"We lived in the same town, and ran on the same team," Deba told Tadias earlier in the day.

"I want to thank the people of New York and Ethiopian people and everyone that supported us," Deba said. "Frehiwot and I showed good competition and with God's grace we were victorious."

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