Jepkosgei’s Prague stunner caps golden outing for Kenya


Joyceline Jepkosgei wins the Karlovy Vary Half Marathon (Giancarlo Colombo / organisers)
Joyceline Jepkosgei wins the Karlovy Vary Half Marathon (Giancarlo Colombo / organisers)

Kenyan long distance runners had a good day in office as they conquered various cities across the globe but the weekend belonged to Joyciline Jepkosgei who stole the shine on Saturday when she smashed four world records at the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon.

The 23-year-old, competing in just her fifth half marathon to date ran a record-breaking 1:04:52 as she also shattered the world records for 10km, 15km and 20km en route to her victory at the the Czech Republic’s capital and largest city.

Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola stopped the clock at stop the clock at 59:36 to deny the previously unheralded Josphat Tanui of Kenya who finished strongly to take second place in 1:00:38 on his debut at the distance.

A day later in South Korea, Kenyan duo Mathew Kisorio and Pamela Jepkosgei Rotich took top honours at the Daegu International Marathon as Luka Rotich Lobuwan cruised to the men’s title at the 11th Santiago de Chile Marathon.

Kisorio a former convicted drug cheat led his brother Peter Some to a 1, 2 finish as he cut the tape in 2:07.32. Some and Egyptian Reda Mohamed stopped the timer at 2:09.22 and 2:09.50 for the first and second runners up places.

Lobuwan clocked 2:09:37 to set a new course record in the Chilean capital while the women’s race winner Inés Melchor of Peru ran 2:34:12.

Back in Europe, Edwin Kipngetich Koech took the honours at the EA7 Emporio Armani Milano Marathon, breaking the Italian all-comers’ record with 2:07:13 as compatriot Sheila Chepkoech produced a major surprise winning the women’s race in 2:29:52, breaking her personal best by more than 10 minutes.

Koech ran a fast time ever in Italian soil to clinch the men’s victory in 2:07.13 ahead of Kenneth Mungara who made his third consecutive podium finish in 2:09.37 as Ethiopian Abdela Godona (2:10.05) denied Henry Chirchir (2:10.20) a podium place.

“I am so proud to win this race,” said Koech. “I expected to break the course record, as my training indicated that I was in very good shape. I thank the organisers, who made an excellent job contributing to this result.”

There was heartbreak for the Kenyans just miles away as Shura Kitata recorded the second-fastest time ever witnessed at the Acea Rome Marathon while fellow Ethiopian and training partner Rahma Tusa successfully defended her title.

The race was characterized by heavy rains with Kenya’s Dominic Ruto and Benjamin Bitok braving the weather to settle for silver and bronze in the men’s race.

Beatrice Jelagat Cherop finished fourth in the women’s race.

Meanwhile in the women’s race, former Sevilla Marathon champion Pamela Rotich led compatriots to a podium sweep.

Rotich took the race honors in 2:27.48 followed closely by Winny Jekorir (2:27.52) and Loice Kiptoo(2:28.39) for the second and third places.

Ruto and Bitok stopped the timer at 2:09.10 and 2:09.16 behind 21-year-old Ethiopian, Shura Tula who took top price in 2.07.30.

In the women’s race Cherop denied the Ethiopians a 1,2,3,4,5,6, finish to stop the timer at 2:32.21 for the fourth place.

-Material sourced from the iaaf.org

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