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January 17, 2019

Kiptum, Rono lead Kenyans in dominant display in Daegu

Janet Rono crosses the finish line to win the 2018 Daegu Marathon /COURTESY
Janet Rono crosses the finish line to win the 2018 Daegu Marathon /COURTESY
Abraham Kiptum and Janet Rono clinched the 2018 Daegu International Marathon title following a dominant display by Kenyan runners on Sunday.
Kiptum led a Kenyan 1-2-3-4 sweep in the men’s category in a time of 2:06:29 with Evans Korir, Peter Some and Elisha Rotich second and third in respective times of 2:06:35, 2:06:49 and 2:07:50.
In the men’s race, the nine leading athletes were still together as they reached 15 kilometres in 44:08 – just a shade outside 2:04 marathon pace – having passed five kilometres in 14:50 and 10 kilometres in 29:28.
Ethiopia’s Weldu Negash Gebretsadik was the first to fade and he trailed the remaining eight leaders by 15 seconds at 20 kilometres, which was passed in 59:16.
With the pace gradually dropping as the race went on, the lead pack stuck together for another 10 kilometres before it started to fragment. Kenya’s Mike Boit, Jacob Kendagor and Reuben Kerio dropped off the pack, as did Morocco’s El Mahjoub Dazza. At 35 kilometres – reached in 1:44:31, 2:06:00 pace – just Kiptum, Korir and Some were left at the head of the field with compatriot Rotich following some 23 seconds adrift.
Although the course record was never under threat in the women’s race, Rono’s victory was a decisive one.
As she reached half way in 1:13:11, she had just three other women for company, Korea’s Ahn Seul-Ki, defending champion Pamela Rotich of Kenya and compatriot Winnie Jepkorir, last year’s runner-up.
Rono reached 30 kilometres in 1:44:08 and the lead quartet was starting to get strung out with Rotich and Jepkorir struggling to keep up. Over the course of the next five kilometres, Rono built up a 15-second lead over Ahn with Rotich and Jepkorir falling even further behind.
Rono maintained her advantage until the end, winning in 2:28:01. Ahn settled for second but was rewarded with a big PB of 2:28:17, almost four minutes quicker than her previous best.
Rotich and Jepkorir were locked in their own battle for third place during the closing stages. Jepkorir was ahead with seven kilometres remaining before Rotich went ahead of her rival. Jepkorir finished strongly but couldn’t quite close the gap on Rotich, who took third place in 2:28:45.
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