Mosop set the third fastest time in the world this year and missed the Stramilano record held by Kenyan legend Paul Tergat who clocked 59:17 in 1998 on a different course. Only Zersenay Tadese, who broke the world record with 58:23 in Lisbon on Sunday, and Tilahun Regassa, winner in Abu Dhabi with 59:19, has run faster this year.
Silas Kiprop, a solid middle distance specialist with a PB of 7:32.25 in the 3000m, also dipped under the one-hour barrier with 59:39. Philemon Kimeli Limo completed the Kenyan sweep finishing third in 1:01:34, beating Ethiopian Abere Chane who reached the line in 1:01:56.
The race was launched by a five-man pack which included Mosop, running at a sub-hour pace from the start. They passed the 6Km point in 17:19.
Mosop and Kipruto pulled away from the chase group and reached 10 kilometres in 28:14. At 12Km, Mosop and Kipruto continued to maintain the pace, carving out a solid gap over Kimeli and Chane, who was third at this year’s Cinque Mulini IAAF Cross Country Permit race and winner at the Villa Lagarina.
Mosop took the lead followed by Kipruto. They went through 15Km in 42:25, still in line for a sub-60 time. The Kenyan duo ran neck-to-neck passing 17Km in 47:52 and 18Km in 50:49 thanks to a 2:49 pace per kilometre.
Mosop broke away at 19Km (53:36) with an impressive kilometre split of 2:42 and romped home in the famous Napoleonic Arena Civica Gianni Brera.
“It was a fantastic feeling running in Milan,” said Mosop, who struck silver at the 2007 World Cross Country Championhips on home soil in Mombasa. “The conditions were ideal for running today.”
Mosop, the husband of last year’s World Cross Country champion Florence Kiplagat, is trained by Italian coach Renato Canova who announced that Mosop will make an attempt at breaking the 25 km world record in Berlin on 9 May.
“Moses’ form is now at 85% after a knee injury caused by a fall,” Canova said. “He can run under 59:20. He can become a very good marathon runner.”
According to Canova, Kipruto was the surprise of the race. The Kenyan was supposed to act as a pacemaker through 14Km but he decided to continue because he felt in good form.
Kiptoo makes her break in the 18th kilometre - women’s race
Kenya also took the women’s race. Jane Kiptoo crossed the finish line in 1:09:52 ahead of Chinese Zhu Xiaolin, runner-up in 1:10:07 and Helena Kirop Loshanyang (1:10:10). The top European was three-time Stramilano winner Aniko Kalovics from Hungary, fourth in 1:10:36.
Anna Incerti from Italy, 2008 winner of the Milano Marathon, came back after injury with an encouraging fifth place in 1:10:59 in her first test in the build-up to this summer’s European Championships in Barcelona.
Kiptoo, who holds a Half Marathon PB of 1:09:07 from Lisbon in 2009, ran in the lead together with Zhu (fourth in the 2008 Olympic Marathon), for most of the race until the 18th kilometre. They went through 10Km in 39:40 and 15Km in 50:09. Kiptoo finally broke away from Xiaolin at 18Km to seal the victory.
“The weather conditions were ideal for running today,” said Kiptoo, who is based in Italian town Trento. “I am planning to run another half-marathon but I’m not planning to run a marathon at the moment.
Twenty-five year-old Zhu will remain in Italy, training in Franciacorta near Brescia to prepare the Rotterdam marathon on 11 April.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF
Leading Results -
1. Moses Cheruiyot Mosop (Kenya) 59:20
2. Silas Kipruto (Kenya) 59:39
3. Philemon Kimeli Limo (Kenya) 1:01:34
4. Abere Chane (Ethiopia) 1:01:56
5. Omiso Stephen Arita (Kenya) 1:03:10
6. Giovanni Gualdi (Italy) 1:03:57
7. Abdelkedir Lamachi (Morocco) 1:04:08
8. Denis Curzi (Italy) 1:04:23
1. Jane Kiptoo (Kenya) 1:09:52
2. Zhu Xiaolin (China) 1:10:07
3. HelenaLoshanyang Kirop (Kenya) 1:10:10
4. Aniko Kalovics (Hungary) 1:10:36
5. Anna Incerti (Italy) 1:10:59
6. Marcella Mancini (Italy) 1:14:10
7. Bekele Asmerawork (Ethiopia) 1:14:30