NAIROBI, September 22 – Olympic Marathon gold medallist Samuel Kamau Wanjiru won Porto Half Marathon in Portugal while Pamela Chepchumba took the women’s title on Sunday.,
Running in his first race since the Olympics, Wanjiru twon the race in a new course record of 1:01:24.
“This was not so easy to win, because I’m still recovering from the Olympic Games marathon,” Wanjiru said. “So, this was a good performance.”
Wanjiru, who turns 22 on November10, is the World record holder over the distance with a personal best of 58:33 over the distance along with a Marathon PB of 2:05:24 from this year’s London Marathon.
Jacob Yator who boasts a personal best of 1:01:09 from this year’s Paris Half Marathon finished second in 1:02:41, in a race where the rabbit, the Portuguese Rui Pedro Silva, finished in the fifth place in 1hour 4 minutes 56 seconds.
A bronze medallist in last year’s World Road Running Championships in Udine, Pamela Chepchumba was the runaway winner in the women’s race timing 1:10:26.
Countrywoman Lena Cheruyiot, who has a personal best of 1:09:45 from this year’s Paris Half Marathon came in second whiel Gladys Cherono was third.
The best Portuguese was Marisa Barros, who ran her second Marathon in Beijing (32nd), finishing in fifth place, ahead of triathlon Olympic silver medallist Vanessa Fernandes, also from Portugal.
Meanwhile Sammy Kiwara and Peninah Arusei won the 24th edition of the ‘Dam tot Dam’ run between Amsterdam and Zaandam on Sunday.
Kiwara won the men’s race in 45:17 and his compatriot Peninah Arusei was the fastest women in 51:22.
Olympic Marathon champion Constantina Dita finished fourth in 53:23.
The Romanian, said afterwards: “I am still tired of the Beijing marathon. It was difficult’, but I am happy with my time.”
Bernard Kipyego was third in 46:03 while Olympic 10,000 metres bronze medalist Micah Kogo was fourth in a time of 46:12 as Kenyans took seven of the top eight positions.
“Till the 10kms marker the pace was too slow,”, said Kiwara afterwards. “The moment I passed several women I did not know I was leading.”
The pace of the leading women slowed down after 10km and Arusei lost fourteen seconds on Kitwara. The gap was closed further between 10 and 15 kilometres.