Somali-born Belgian Bashir Abdi celebrates at the finishing line after winning the 2021 Rotterdam Marathon.

Somali-born Belgian athlete Bashir Abdi on Sunday smashed two records to win the 40th edition of the Rotterdam Marathon.

The Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist, who was among the elite athletes in the race, took charge of the race at the 38km leaving defending champion Marius Kipserem trailing in his wake to win in a new course record of 2:03.35.

In winning the race, Abdi, also broke the European marathon course record of 2:04.16 that was set in 2019 by Kaan Kigen from Turkey.

Kipserem settled for second place with a new personal best of 2:04.04, followed by Ethiopia’s Dawit Wolde who clocked 2:04:27.

The three men stuck close to each other towards the end of the race, before Abdi broke away in the last six kilometers.

Dahabshiil group of companies, who have supported Abdi, over the years took pride in his latest success.

“We are proud of Abdi’s performance in Rotterdam Marathon. His victory is not only for himself but also for Africa. We take pride in associating with such a young successful African athlete. He is an inspiration to the African youth,” Dahabshiil said.