RABAT, Morocco, Aug 30 – Milano City Marathon champion Titus Ekiru overcame humid conditions to cut the tape in 1:01:42 to win the men’s Half Marathon on Friday Morning and hand Kenya fifth gold at Africa Games in Rabat, Morocco.
Ekiru beat the Moroccan pair of Elaaraby Reda (1:02.44) and Sahli Hamzawho (1:02:45) who took silver and bronze respectively as the other Kenyan in the race Maurice Munene (1:02.510) was fourth as his compatriot Panuel Mkungo settled for fifth in 1:03:10.
Running under the heat that saw the weather record a humidity of 58 percent, Ekiru who is under the management of Federico Rosa, said he did not face stiff competition since a marathoner and managed to break at the 10km.
“The slopes were a challenge and heat but I thank God for winning. The course was good, At 5km I tried to push pace and see if they will resist but they didn’t, so I said at 10km I opened the gap and went all the way to win the race,” Ekiru who has also run in Seville Marathon said after the race.
Ekiru’s win came minutes late after Kenya failed to get a medal in the corresponding women’s race where rivals Ethiopia swept the podium.
Hellen Jepkurgat was fourth in a time of 1:12:29 ahead of compatriot Grace Kimanzi who was fifth in 1:13:16.
Ekiru has a Personal Best of 1:01:02 in the Half Marathon that he set in San Diego in USA last year while the 2:04:46 he set in Milano, Italy is his Marathon Personal Best.