Mosop’s record bid burns as Kenyans rule


NAIROBI, Kenya, April 15- Moses Mosop’s world marathon record chase collapsed in Rotterdam but the Kenyan charge held their own as the country’s athletes bagged the Vienna, Paris, Milan and Nagano marathon titles on Sunday.

All eyes were on Rotterdam where Mosop, the Chicago Marathon winner and world record holder over 30,000m blew up his London Olympics chances after his pledged assault on Patrick Makau Musyoki’s 2:03:38 marathon standard fell short.

It was all going according to plan at the 21km mark with Mosop, compatriots Stephan Chemlany and Peter Kirui crossing in 61:35, nine seconds inside the 61:44 Makau clocked at the halfway mark in Berlin last year where he set the world record.

Strong winds in the next ten kilometres put paid to the record charge as the frontrunners ran against the gust allowing Ethiopian pair, Yemane Adnane and Getu Feleke to upstage the Kenyans for the first two positions in 2:04:47 and 2:04:49.

Mosop, who was one of the six Kenyan probables for the Olympics, timed 2:05:02 for the last podium place in a result that has knocked him out of the running for London with Stephen Kibet (2:08:05) and Chemlany (2:10:07) completing the top five.

The Chicago record holder set a personal best time of 2:03:06 in finishing second at last year’s Boston Marathon, where times were not recognized by IAAF because of tailwind and downhill layouts.

Ethiopia cleaned up in both races as Tiki Gelana won the women’s race in a new record time for the Rotterdam event as well as her nation’s record of 2:18:57.

In France, Stephen Biwott, motored around the Paris Marathon course in a new route best of 2:05:11, erasing the previous mark set by Worlds silver medallist, Vincent Kipruto of 2:05:47.

“I realised early in the race that the pace was very fast. Then I told myself that if I can maintain that speed I can win the race, because nobody would be able to follow me,” the 25-year-old winner told IAAF.

Ethiopians Raji Assefa (2:06:23) and debutant Sisay Jisa (2:06:26) sealed the rostrum in an event where their compatriot, Tirfi Beyene won the women’s race in a course record of 2:21:39.

At the same time, Henry Sugut won the 29th edition of the Vienna City Marathon clocking an Austrian all-comers record of 2:06:58.

The 26-year-old produced the best result of the day by clocking the first sub 2:07 time in the history of the event as he obliterated the previous course record of 2:07:38 set by world champion Abel Kirui in 2008.

Gilbert Yegon (2:07:38), defending champion John Kiprotich (2:07:44), Gilbert Kirwa (2:08:09) and Willy Kibor (2:08:32) took the places behind Sugut in a show of Kenyan command in an event where Ethiopia’s Fate Tola defended her women’s title in a time of 2:26:39.

In the much anticipated OMV Champions Race, Ethiopia’s Haile Gebrselassie clearly beat Paula Radcliffe who had been given a 7:52 head start.

Kenyan pair Daniel Kiprugut and Irene Kosgei Jerotich won the Milan Marathon in pouring rain.

Kiprugut finished in 2:08:39 to beat compatriot Nickson Kurgat into second with Ethiopia’s Work Biru Gemechu third.

Jerotich claimed victory in the women’s race in 2:31:07 ahead of Italian Emma Quaglia and Nediat Habtemriam of Eritrea.

Before the race began a minute’s silence was held in memory of Piermario Morosini who died while playing football for Livorno on Saturday.

Over to Japan, history was made at the Nagano Marathon where Kenyans claimed a maiden men and women races double.

Francis Kibiwott won the men’s race with a course record of 2:09:05, thus eclipsing the previous record of 2:10:17 set by two-time Olympic medallist Eric Wainaina that had stood since 2000.

Kibiwott, who maintained his nation’s winning streak at the race that stretched to seven in a row led countrymen Silas Sang (2:09:10) and Moses Kangogo (2:10:53) to the medal sweep.

In the women’s race, Pauline Wangui won by over a minute from Ethiopia’s Belaynesh Gebre Zemedkhun (2:35:19) after breaking from her rival whom they had ran together for long at the 35km mark to clinch victory in 2:34:22.

Rose Nyangacha stopped the clock in 2:36:18 for the bronze medal position to reward her nation with a 1-3 finish.

– Compiled from AFP and IAAF reports