Joshua Kipkorir and Priscah Cherono led podium sweeps for Kenya at the 17th running of the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon yesterday.
Kipkorir clocked 2:12:20 to claim a convincing victory, his first in three marathons this year. Felix Kirwa was a distant second in 2:13:43 with Andrew Kimtai third in 2:14:30.
In the women’s contest, Priscah Cherono, 38, reached the line in 2:32:12, well clear of pre-race favourite Stella Barsosio, who clocked 2:33:23. Further back, Jane Jelagat was third in 2:35:38.
Meanwhile,Kenya’s Sylvia Kibet closed the podium places at the Saitama Marathon yesterday.
Bahraini Dalila Gosa won the race after sprinting from compatriot Shitaye Eshete with just a few metres to the finish line.
“I wanted to win and as expected I was able to win,” said Gosa whose performance was the second fastest on this course.
Three pace makers – Diana Kipyokei, Stacy Ndiwa and Kaori Yoshida – did a good job keeping the pace honest, clocking between 17:20 and 17:30 per each 5km segment in the early stages of the race.
The first major casualty was Ethiopian Fatuma Sado, who, hit by severe discomfort at the 20km aid station, was forced to drop out. That left five runners — Gosa, Eshete, Kibet, Saki Tokoro and Marie Imada plus three pacemakers at the front. A couple kilometres later, Tokoro and Imada fell back,leaving three in contention until the 35th kilometres when Kibet dropped back.
Upping the tempo, Eshete tried hard to leave Gosa behind in the waning stages, but she was able to hang on and a few hundred metres from the finish she unleashed her own sprint to secure the four-second victory and relegate Eshete to runner-up in this race for the second consecutive year.
“It was bit windy, so I stayed behind until the very end of the race,” Gosa said. “However, I was determined to sprint when I saw the finish line.” Gosa improved her best by more than a minute. It was her first marathon win.
Kibet of Kenya finished a distant third with 2:28:38. Marie Imada was fourth with a 2:29:35 lifetime best, but shy of the 2:29:00 qualifying standard for the Japanese Olympic Trials Marathon.