Kenyatta, Ruto hail ‘Pocket Rocket’ Cheruiyot
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto have hailed Rio Olympic and five -time World champion Vivian Cheruiyot for clinching a top podium place at the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon on Sunday.
Kenyatta commended Cheruiyot for her victory while Ruto praised her efforts and for flying the Kenyan flag high. The two time Olympic silver medallist (Rio 10,000m and London 5,000m) announced her arrival in the road races by taking the honours and setting a personal best (PB) of 2 hours, 23 minutes and 35 seconds.
“You have done us proud Vivian Cheruiyot for winning the #frankfurtmarathon,:” Uhuru wrote on his official Twitter account.
“Vivian Cheruiyot sets a new Personal Best time on her way to winning the Frankfurt Marathon. A sterling effort,” tweeted Ruto .
The four time IAAF World Championships title holder dominated the race from gun to tape, forcing the Ethiopian duo in hot pursuit to settle for the second and third podium places. Arage Yebrgual Melese and Meskerem Assefa desperately tried to close on Cheruiyot but managed to top the timers at 2:24.30 and 2:24:38 respectively.
Though the 2010 Commonwealth Games champion missed the 2:21.01 course record (CR) set by Ethiopian Meselech Melkamu in 2012 as well as the lucrative €30,000 (Sh 4.1m) CR bonus , compatriot Edith Chelimo smashed the Marseille Cassis 20km, an IAAF Silver Label Road Race on Sunday in France.
It was the second victory in a row for Chelimo, following her strong win at the Cardiff Half Marathon in early October where she smashed her personal best to 1:05:52 to become the seventh fastest woman in history.
It wasn’t an easy task for Chelimo as the Ethiopian pair of Muliye Dekebo and Dera Dida managed to stay with her during the climb up to the Col de la Gineste, passing the five and 10-kilometre marks in 16:21 and 35:07 respectively.
Chelimo then ratcheted up the pace as Dida and Dekebo began to falter. Chelimo covered the next five-kilometre section in 15:01 to hit the 15-kilometre checkpoint in 50:08, before extending her lead over the final stretch to win in 1:05:58, taking a massive 64 seconds from the 1:07:02 course record set last year by Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei.
It’s noteworthy that the final three kilometres of the course were slightly modified and a little tougher than in previous editions.
Dekebo took the runner’s up position after clocking 1:06:41 while Dida settled for second runners up position in 1:07:54.
Meanwhile, in the men’s race, Evans Cheruiyot, (59:50) and Wilfried Kimeli Kimitei (1:00:09) finished second and third behind Ethiopian Jemal Yimer (59:16).
Also, in another race of the day in Slovenia, Rotterdam Marathon winner Marius Kimutai, led compatriots to clean podium sweep at the 22nd Volkswagen Ljubljana Marathon, while Ethiopian Shuko Genemo Wote spoilt the party for the women.
Kimutai broke away from compatriot Solomon Kirwa Yego in the 39th kilometre en route to a 2:08:33 victory, more than a minute clear of Yego who clocked 2:09:36. Albert Korir clocked 2:10:35 for third podium place.
“The strong wind was a problem,” said the 25-year-old, who set his lifetime best of 2:05:47 in Amsterdam last year where he finished third. “After 32 kilometres the wind was okay, but until then it was quite hard.”
Ethiopian Shuko Genemo Wote, the 2016 Vienna Marathon winner dethroned Purity Changwony, to claim the women’s title in 2:27.02. Though she had relinquished her title, Changwony managed to clip 1:40 from her PB to clock 2:27:52 for second place while Jane Jelagat Seurey was third in 2:28:05.
Additional reporting by IAAF
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