Milan, Italy, March 27- The captain of Team Kenya to the Punta Umbria World Cross, Matthew Kisorio improved his career best in half marathon by seven seconds when he breezed to the Stramilano Half Marathon title in 1:00:03, IAAF reports.
The event celebrated its 40th edition on a cloudy morning but otherwise with ideal weather conditions. Kisorio, fourth at last week’s World Cross in Punta Umbria, beat his 18-year-old compatriot Eric Ndiema who finished second in 1:00:20 ahead of Ethiopia’s Dereje Deme Hailegiorgis, third in 1:00:25.
The men’s race set off at a very fast pace on the flat Milan course inside a 59:25-59:30 pace. Peter Kurui led a six man group who went through 5km in 14:06. The leading pack also featured Ethiopians Shumi Leche Dechasa, Atalay Yrsaw Tegene, Dereje Deme Hailegiorgis with Kisorio and Ndiema holding fort for the Kenyan challenge.
They continued to push hard in the first 10km (8km in 22:36 and 10km in 28:16). Kisorio broke away at 13km with a decisive attack and at 15km he had carved out a gap of 6 seconds over Ndiema, who entered the Stramilano with a 59:57 PB set last year in The Hague and finished third at last month’s Paris Half Marathon, and Dereje Deme.
Kisorio passed the 15 km in 42:24 to Ndiema’s 42:30. The pace slowed in the second half and any hopes of scoring the eighth sub-60 minutes in the history of the Stramilano vanished in the final kilometres.
Kisorio set his previous PB of 1:00:10 last October in Porto. He also boasts a 5000m track PB of 12:57:83 (2010) and won the 2008 IAAF World Junior silver medal over this distance. He is the fourth of seven children of the late Some Muge, first Kenya’s medallist at the World Cross Country Championships with bronze at Gateshead in 1983.
“I was aiming at running under 60 minutes but it was a good race, anyway,” Kisorio told IAAF. “The conditions were perfect for running. I was running at sub-60 minutes (pace) but I had some problems in the final kilometres. My goal is to make the Kenyan team in the 10,000m for the World Championships in Daegu,” added the runner who finished fourth at the same distance at last year’s Africa Athletics Championships added.
Kisorio led his country’s victorious team in Punta Umbria where he led from the front until the last 800m when Ethiopian Imane Merga took away to deny the Kenyans the senior men 12km individual World Cross title.