Bahrain’s Khalid Kamal Yaseen (2:14:31) captured a convincing win at the 32nd Madrid Marathon, an IAAF Silver Label Road Race held today (26), while Turkey’s Mehtap Sizmaz (2:32:04) managed the victory on the women’s side in a course record.
Formerly known as Kenya’s Peter Ndegwa, the 26-year-old Yaseen switched his nationality in 2005 when he received Bahraini allegiance.
Due to its 650m altitude Madrid is a far from ideal place to run fast times at distance events and in addition, the rain appeared in the opening stages of the race to dampen athletes’ efforts.
By the 10km point - covered in 31:03 - the leading group included four men, Yaseen and Kenya’s Samwel Kalya plus the two pacesetters, Kenya’s Erick Kibet (victor at Pollensa’s Half Marathon in 63:29) last Sunday and Spain’s Manuel Penas, a member of the Spanish World XC squad in Amman last month.
Kibet kept the rhythm of the race brisk enough to think about a sub 2h10 final clock as he led Yaseen through the half marathon point in 64:35. However the second half of the race proved to be much slower and an already lonesome Yaseen – who holds a career best of 2:11:43 set in Düsseldorf in May 2008 – was timed at 1:32:27 for a poor 16:03 5km split but even so he had built a huge margin of over two minutes on his closest pursuer, Meshack Kosgei Kirwa of Kenya.
The closing 10km still contained a big surprise as the overwhelming leader had to stop twice to throw up before romping home victorious in 2:14:31, quite far from the course record set by his former countryman Richard Ngolepus (2:11:30/2006). Kirwa took second with a 2:16:17 clocking while another Kenyan, Gatheru Daniel Nderitu completed the podium 25 seconds adrift the runner-up.
Spain’s Julio Rey carried the burden of the Spanish hopes but the former (2003) World bronze medallist – was never a factor and the 37-year-old reigning European bronze medallist dropped out before halfway when he ran well behind the leading pack. It’s seems now clear that Rey won’t be part of the Spanish squad attending the World Championships in Berlin next August.
Course record falls in the women’s contest
The women’s race witnessed an interesting showdown between the eventual winner Turkey’s Mehtap Sizmaz and Ethiopia’s Amane Seid Chewo. This pair – accompanied by a large group of male local marathoners for much of the race – went through the opening 10km in 35:54 to cover halfway in 1:14:34 and a massive two-minute margin on Russia’s Galina Alexandrova.
Sizmaz – who holds a 2:31.13 PB set in Istanbul back in 2006 – and the 23-year-old Ethiopian ran neck-to-neck until the 36th kilometre when the former made his move to open a huge advantage from then on.
The 30-year-old Turk ran a much more balanced race than the men’s victor to grab a 2:32:04 success setting a new course record in the process while Seid Chewo posted a PB of 2:33:00 for second and Alexandrova confirmed her third spot timed at 2:36:02.
The ecstatic winner – who came a brilliant 12th overall for the Ethiopian’s 13th place – declared: “I’m very satisfied with my performance today; it’s a shame as I had planned to break my PB and perform inside 2h30 here but the closing five kilometres proved to be really tough and I lost valuable minutes there.”
Emeterio Valiente for the IAAF
1. Khalid Yaseen (Bahrain) 2:14:31
2. Kirwa Kosgei (Kenya) 2:16:17
3. Daniel Nderitu (Kenya) 2:16:42
4. Geof Terer (Kenya) 2:18:32
5. James Moiben (Kenya) 2:20:48
1. Mehtap Sizmaz (Turkey) 2:32:04
2. Amane Seid Chewo (Ethiopia) 2:33:00
3. Galina Alexandrova (Russia) 2:36:02
4. Dolores Pulido (Spain) 2:40:48
5. Yelena Tikhonova (Russia) 2:43:59