Zaandam, The Netherlands - For Leonard Patrick Komon, The Netherlands seems to be the promised land.
After two World records (10Km in Utrecht at 26:44 and 15Km in Nijmegen in 41:13) in the Low Countries last year the 23-year-old from Cheptais, Kenya, clocked the second fastest ever time over 10 Miles at the 27th Dam tot Dam from Amsterdam to Zaandam. In very rainy and cool conditions Komon clocked 44:27, missing the World best of 44:23 set by Haile Gebrselassie by just four seconds.
Priscah Jepleting of Kenya won the women's race in 51:57. Her winning time was the fastest of 2011 over the distance.
Komon is known as a very start starter and in Amsterdam he went out very fast as usual. Eritrean Samuel Tsegay was the only runner who could follow, and the two passed the five-kilometre marker in a very fast 13:13. In pouring rain the two went on and after 7500 metres Tsegay last contact. Komon went on and reached 10Km in 27:17. Then the Kenyan slowed somewhat giving Tsega the chance to regain ground. But at the moment the Eritrean was with Komon the Kenyan accelerated and opened a gap again passing al the women, who started 5:46 earlier. At 15Km Komon was clocked in 41:26 with Tsegay four seconds back. In the final kilometre Komon took nine seconds on his last opponent who finished second in 44:38.
John Mwangangi of Kenya, last year's winner, finished third in 45:13.
Komon was pleased with his victory. "It is a pity I missed the world best time of Haile Gebrselassie by a mere four seconds. The rain in the final one-and-a-half kilometres was too much for me. I will be back next year."
The early battle between the women and men was already decided after just a half hour after Komon's very fast start.
Jepleting's performance was 58 seconds faster than compatriot Tabitha Wambui Gichia's previous season leader, a 52:55 performance on 20 August Schortens, Germany. Here, Dinah Chepkemoi of Kenya was second in 52:46 while Ethiopian Abebech Afework was third, clocking 52:48.
Overall, there were 40,000 finishers over several distances in Zaandam.
Wim van Hemert for the IAAF
Leading Results -
27th Dam to Damloop 10 EM Amsterdam to Zaandam Sunday Sep. 18th
1. Leonard Patrick Komon, KEN 44:27
2. Samuel Tsegay, ERI 44:38
3. John Mwangangi, KEN 45:13
4. Kennedy Kimutai, KEN 45:15
5. Henri Kiplagat, KEN 46:19
6. Philemon Rono, KEN 46:26
7. Gadengoi Loitareng, KEN 47:16
8. Abdelhadi El Hachimi, MAR 47:17
9. Noureddine Htaibi, MAR 47:43
10. Patrick Stitzinger, NED 47:47
11. Bonsa Dida, KEN 48:10
12. Mekashaw Eshete Kassa, ETH 48:29
13. Thomas Poesiat, NED 48:29
14. Koen Raymaekers, NED 48:32
15. Jamal Balgiha, MAR 48:34
16. Michel Butter, NED 49:06
1. Prisca Jepleting, KEN 51:57
2. Dinah Chepkemoi, KEN 52:46
3. Abebech Afework, ETH 52:48
4. Tabitha Wambui, KEN 52:48
5. Lornah Kiplagat, NED 53:01
6. Tsegereda Girma, ETH 53:17
7. Valentine Kibet, KEN 56:08
8. Veerle DeJaegerhe, BEL 56:41
9. Ilse Pol, NED 56:42
10. Andrea Deelstra, NED 56:54