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Boston Marathon winner returns his medal to city

Boston Marathon 2013 men's winner Lelisa Desisa, right, of Ethiopia, holds his medal with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino after presenting it to the city as a tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, Sunday, June 23, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Boston Marathon 2013 men's winner Lelisa Desisa, right, of Ethiopia, holds his medal with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino after presenting it to the city as a tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, Sunday, June 23, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The champion of the men’s 2013 Boston Marathon returned his winner’s medal to Mayor Thomas Menino yesterday to honor the city and those killed and injured in the bombings near the finish line of one of the world’s top running events.

“Sport holds the power to unify and connect people all over the world,” Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia told the crowd through a translator. “Sport should never be used as a battleground.”

More than 6,400 athletes gathered on Boston Common for the 10K organized by the Boston Athletic Association, the same nonprofit that handles the annual marathon. Spots for yesterday’s race sold out in 13 hours online.

“Let me tell you: As mayor of this great city for the last several years, I have never seen Boston come together like it has after the attacks,” Menino told the crowd. “Thank you for making Boston stronger.”

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