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December 10, 2018

Kenyans rumble

David Metto in action /COURTESY
David Metto in action /COURTESY

David Metto and Beatrice Cherop were the victors at the PZU Warsaw Marathon yesterday, winning the IAAF Bronze Label road race in 2:12:44 and 2:35:22 respectively to achieve just the second Kenyan double in the 39-year history of the race.

Metto formed part of the lead pack through five kilometres, reached in 15:49, before opening up a gap on his opponents to lead by 13 seconds at 10 kilometres. Ethiopia’s Ayele Woldesemayat soon rejoined him, though, and they passed through the half-way mark together in 1:06:48.

France’s 2012 European 1500m silver medallist Florian Carvalho, making his marathon debut, was 20 seconds adrift at this point, forming part of a three-man chase pack.

Tsige started to struggle over the course of the next 10 kilometres and was eventually caught by Carvalho before 30 kilometres. Metto had a 35-second lead over Carvalho at this point and it grew to exactly one minute at 35 kilometres, reached in 1:50:03.

Having covered the second half quicker than the first, Metto won in 2:12:44 to secure his second marathon victory on Polish soil this year, following his triumph in Debno back in April. Carvalho held on to second place in 2:15:14 with Poland’s Adam Nowicki coming through for third place in 2:17:43, one second ahead of Tsige.

Cherop’s win was even more decisive, but during the closing stages she paid for her ambitious early pace.

Running alongside Ethiopia’s Aynalem Woldewariya Woldemichael, Cherop passed through 10 kilometres in 34:45. The 32-year-old, who finished second in Warsaw last year, dropped Woldemichael a few kilometres later and reached the half-way point in 1:14:31, suggesting an improvement on the 2:29:32 course record was possible.

By 30 kilometres, reached in 1:46:58, Cherop’s pace had dropped, but her lead had grown to almost four minutes. Moldova’s Olesea Smovjenco, meanwhile, was closing in on Woldemichael and trailed the Ethiopian by just 15 seconds.

Cherop’s pace continued to suffer but her lead was unaffected and she went on to win in 2:35:22. Fast-finishing Pole Anna Lapinska came through to take second place in 2:38:41 with Israel’s Elena Dolinin following close behind in 2:38:46. Smovjenco was fourth and Woldemichael fifth.

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