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Kenya wins eighth world marathon title

Kenya Paul Kirui leads the way - Source: IAAFYomi Omogbeja (03/10/2004)

Kenya has reclaimed the men’s world half marathon title, lost to Tanzania last year, after Paul Kirui became the first man ever to win the title on Asian soil at the 13th IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in New Delhi.

Kirui led race favourites John Cheruiyot Korir, Qatari Abdulla Ahmad Hassan and Tanzania’s 2003 silver medallist Fabiano Joseph to the finishing line in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to take gold for the seven times men’s title winner.

Kirui crossed the line in 1:02:15, 16 seconds ahead of Joseph, with Abdulla Ahmad Hassan holding off Korir to take the bronze medal in a national record time of 1:02:36.

With Korir fourth in 1:02:38 and Kebenei finishing in 8th place in 1:03:02, Kenya clinched their eighth team gold in this Championship with an aggregate time of 3:07:55.

Ethiopia took team silver with Solomon Tsige, Alene Amere and Berhanu Adere finishing in 5th, 6th and 9th positions respectively in 1:02:42 ; 1:02:52 and 1:03:03, a total of 3:08:37. Abebe Dinkesa placed 10th in 1:04:06.

The Ugandan team took the third place on the team podium with their aggregate time of 3:13:48, to complete an African clean sweep.

Team effort

Kirui said after the race: “The course was not very difficult. I felt very good and the conditions were fine for me.

“I was not afraid of Joseph at all, but the Qatari was my biggest fear. I have trained with him in the past and I knew that he was fast.

“This is a team competition too and we ran as a team. At one stage, John Cheruiyot Korir told me that his legs were tired and that I should go, so that is when I made my break, just after 15 kilometres.

“It is a shame that Martin Lel was injured and could not come. I am sure that if he had been we would have taken at least the first two places and maybe all three.”

In the women’s race, Ethiopia led home by sixth placed Eyerrusalem Kuma, claimed the team title, their three runners totalling a time of 3:36:00 ahead of Romania and Russia.

Kenya's Lydia Cheromei fought back strongly at the finish to claim the silver medal in a personal best 1:09:00, behind winner Sun Yingjie of China.


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Related links

13th IAAF World Half Marathon

Kenya Athletics


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Last updated: 03-Oct-2004 10:15 PM

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