Kenya’s Emmanuel Saina set a new South American all-comers record of 2:05:21 at the 34th edition of the Buenos Aires International Marathon, an IAAF Bronze Label road race, on Sunday.
Saina, who didn’t start as a one of the favourites, dominated the race from the start, passing the 5km mark in 14:48, alongside his compatriot Barnabas Kiptum.
The two Kenyan athletes continued to race together up to the 30km mark, passing 10km in 29:54, 15km in 44:53, and 20km in 1:00:27.
The halfway point was reached in 1:02:52 and 25km in 1:15:28.
The nice morning weather in the Argentine capital (18- 20 C) was a good ally for Saina, who by 30km (1:29:37), had opened a gap of six seconds lead over Kiptum.
Saina continued on his way to a negative splits, with 1:43:49 at 35km and 1:58:47 at 40km before finishing the second half in 1:02:29.
The 26-year-old, who was making his debut over the distance, arrived at the line with a modest 1:02:03 personal best in the half marathon from Berkane on April 1.
Kiptum paid the price of the very fast race and finished second in 2:09:19, still a personal best while Peruvian Christian Pacheco was third in 2:11:19, also a personal best, and won the South American title.
Paraguayan Derlis Ayala followed with a national record of 2:13:41, while Kenyan Godfrey Kosgei was fifth in 2:14:00.
Peruvian Nelson Ito (2:16:29) completed the podium of the South American Championships, while Miguel Ángel Bárzola, seventh, was the best Argentine runner with 2:16:47. Pre-race favourite Marius Kipserem, from Kenya dropped out in the second half.