04 DEC 2006 General News

Beirut marathon passes off peacefully

Moses Kemboi and Eunice Korir claimed top honours for Kenya in the BLOM Bank Beirut Marathon, which passed off peacefully yesterday (3). The race was postponed last week after the assassination of government minister Pierre Gemayel.

The course, starting in the port area of the city, was altered slightly, although competitors did run within 600 metres of trouble hotspots, Partizan and Riad Al-Solh squares.

"Nothing went wrong, it was very peaceful," said Sara Nasser the event's international delegate. However the presence of armed troops and police on the streets reduced the watching crowds to a few hundred in the finish area.

Kemboi, the pre-race favourite, was an emphatic winner in extremely hot conditions pulling well clear of the field to win in a time of 2:17:28.

"It was very hot and the course was up-and-down which made it hard work," said 29-year-old Kemboi.

Eric Kiptoon finished second clocking 2:19:55 with Abraham Yemil from Ethiopia placing third in 2:20:49.

The women's contest was much closer, Korir pulling away from fellow Kenyan Alemtsehay Kakissa to win by eight seconds in a time of 2:49:25. Haimanot Wondimu of Ethiopia finished third in 2:54:18.

Dave Martin – PA International – for the IAAF