12 June 2017

Kenya: Mary Keitany Wins in New York

Kenyan long distance athletes embraced mixed results at various races held in USA and Asia over the weekend.

Women's world marathon record holder Mary Keitany warmed up for a possible fourth consecutive New York City marathon title in November when she claimed her second victory at the New York Mini 10K on Saturday in Central Park.

Keitany finished the race in a blistering time of 31:20. The 35-year-old, who crossed the line more than 48 seconds ahead of the rest of the field, has now won her last five consecutive New York Road Runners races and will return on November 5 for her fourth consecutive New York City Marathon title.

Ethiopia's Mamitu Daska finished second in 32:09, her third time making the podium in the event, just two months after taking the title at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K.

Kenyan born Aliphine Tuliamuk of the USA rounded out the top three with her second consecutive podium finish in the event, clocking in at 32:14.

Tuliamuk obtained her U.S. citizenship in 2016 and in her first year as an American claimed national road titles over 5K, 20K and 25K.

Keitany collected $10,000 (Sh1million) as prize purse.

However, it wasn't a good outing for Kenyans at Lanzhou Marathon in Korea where they fell to their Ethiopian rivals.

Kenya's Ernest Kiprono Ngeno, who boast a career best of 2:07:49 achieved last year in Gyeongju, finished third in 2:12:24 in the men's care with 40-year-old veteran Lydia Cheromei settling fourth in women's race in 2:32:38.

Ethiopians Kelkile Gezahegn and Ashete Bekere won the men's and women's races respectively.

Gezahegn maintained his unbeaten record in China with a winning mark of 2:11:54 on the round-way course stretched alongside the Yellow River, 1:44 shy of the course record of 2:10:10 set two years ago by compatriot Abayneh Ayele.

It was the sixth title collected in China by Gezahegn, who debuted over the distance with a victory in Taizhou in 2015 and went on to win in Chongqing, Hefei, Yingkou and Hengshui last year.

Fikadu Kebede, who improved his PB to 2:09:37 to win in Rabat in March, lagged 12 seconds behind to finish second.

Defending champion Tsehay Desalegn surrendered her title in the women's race. She dropped out of the leading group after 15km and finished sixth in 2:38:03.

The title went to Desalegn's consistent compatriot Ashete Bekere, a 2:23:43 performer at her best, who finished seventh at last year's Tokyo Marathon in 2:25:50 and opened 2017 with a second-place finish in Seoul in 2:25:57.

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