Amsterdam, Netherlands, Oct 22 – Wilson Chebet and Ethiopia’s Meseret Hailu set new course records in winning the men and women titles at the Amsterdam Marathon on Sunday.
Chebet came home in 2hr 05min 41sec, while Hailu clocked 2:21.09, bettering the previous course record by more than six minutes and confirming the form that saw her win the world half-marathon title in Kavarna, Bulgaria, earlier this month.
Chebet shaved three seconds off the 2:05:44 Ethiopian Getu Feleke clocked in 2010 while Hailu scored a second big success in 15 days following her World Half Marathon triumph in Kavarna, Bulgaria.
For Chebet it was his third start in Amsterdam having finished second to Getu and winning the race last year in 2:05:53.
Led by several pace makers a large group went out rather fast with a 15:00 split at five kilometers and 29:35 at the 10-kilometres marker.
The winner was very attentive in the big group which mostly was led by compatriots Gideon Kipketer and Vincent Yator.
The two ran a steady pace of around 15 minutes for five kilometres and brought 18 runners through half way in 1:03:05, which was more that half a minute slower than projected.
After midway some runners lost contact with a group of 13 still at the front: Chebet, compatriots Peter Kirui and Elias Kemboi, Eassa Rashed of Qatar, and the Ethiopians Feyisa Bekele, Abrha Gebresetsadik, Abraham Girma, Bentayehu Assefa and Mulugeta Wami with the pace makers Kipketer, Yator, Ezekiel Chebii and Nicholas Kipkemboi.
They passed 25 kilometres in 1:14:39 and 30-km in 1:29:50. Then Kirui, Kemboi and Wami started having problems following the pace.
At 35 kilometres Chebet, Assefa, Gebretsadik, Bekele and Girma were leading in 1:44:59. Two kilometres behind the 35 K marker Chebet made his move.
With long strides he opened very fast a gap and went on to win.
“I am very happy with this victory,” the victor told IAAF. “Amsterdam is a very nice place for me.”
In the women’s race, Eunice Kirwa ran a career best of 2:21:41 to finish second to the Ethiopian winner as Genet Getaneh (2:25:38) denied Diane Chepkemoi (2:27:32) the final podium place.
– AFP & IAAF
1. Wilson Chebet (KEN) 2hr 05min 41sec, 2. Bentayehu Assefa (ETH) 2:06.22, 3. Abrha Gebretsadik (ETH) 2:06.23.
1. Meseret Hailu (ETH) 2:21.09, 2. Eunice Kirwa (KEN) 2:21.41, 3. Genet Getaneh (ETH) 2:25.38