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Mutai tops Castelbuono classic

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 27- Boston Marathon winner Geoffrey Mutai added his name to the prestigious list of long-distance stars who won the Giro di Castelbuono, the oldest road race in Europe which celebrated its 86th edition on Tuesday.

Mutai, Boston 2011 winner in 2:03:02 and second in Rotterdam and Berlin in 2010; Gebregziaber Gebremariam from Ethiopia, the 2010 winner in New York; and Emmanuel Mutai from Kenya, first in London 2011 with his 2:04:40 PB lined up for the start.

Others in the stellar field included Moroccan Abderrahim Goumri, second in New York in 2007 and 2008 and in Chicago 2009; Matthew Kisorio from Kenya, fourth at the 2011 World Cross Country Championships in Punta Umbria and winner of the 2011 Stramilano Half Marathon.

Mutai, Gebremariam and Matthew Kisorio pushed hard from the third lap when they pulled away from the rest of the field with 9:50 on the clock and formed the leading trio.

At halfway Mutai, who is also a fine 10,000m runner on the track with a 27:27.79 at altitude last year, broke away from Gebremariam and Kisorio by unleashing a devastating attack on the uphill section of the course of Via Mario Levante during the sixth lap and increased his lead lap after lap.

Mutai, also the winner of last month’s Boston BAA 10Km road race in 27:19, continued to run a smooth and unchallenged race considering his strong rivals.

Despite the tough course Mutai increased his lead over the chasing pair to 32 seconds and won with 29:05 on the clock.

Gebremariam and Kisorio then battled it out for second place and the Ethiopian broke away from his Kenyan challenger in the final stages of the race to finish runner-up in 30:13 holding off the Kenyan by one second.

“I felt very well but I felt very soon that the it was a very hard race,” Mutai told IAAF. “The support from the crowd really pushed me. I changed gear from the sixth lap and this tactic paid off because I broke away from my rivals.”

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Selected results:

1. Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya) 29:05

2. Gebrehegziaber Gebremariam (Ethiopia) 30:13

3. Matthew Kisorio (Kenya) 30:14

6. Emmanuel Mutai (Kenya) 30:48

7. Ezekiel Chebii (Kenya) 31:00

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