Ethiopian Ketema Nigusse and home star Yevgeniya Danilova were the winners at the Siberian International Marathon, an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race, in Omsk on Sunday (22).
The winner of this year’s Pyongyang Marathon, Nigusse has now added a second victory to his marathon-running career in the only road race in Russia with an IAAF Label status, while Danilova regained the title she won four years ago.
The 32-year-old Nigusse took an early lead together with Kenya’s Evans Kipkorir Taiget. The two worked well as a team, and in the second half of the race no one else came within two minutes of them.
In a race held over a 5km loop, Nigueese waited until the last lap to speed up as his Kenyan rival could not keep up with the tempo. Nigusse’s challenge then became to break the 2:13:02 course record set 20 years ago.
Running in almost perfect marathon conditions – 15°C and sunny – in the end Nigusse fell short of the record by 21 seconds. His winning time of 2:13:23 was also just 19 seconds slower than his previous PB, which was set this year in Pyongyang.
Taiget crossed the finish line in 2:13:28, a PB by more than a minute for the Germany-based 27-year-old, despite this being his second Marathon in two weeks. On 8 September he won the Munster Marathon in 2:15:56 in rainy conditions.
David Ngakane from South Africa crossed the finish line third in 2:16:36, beating by 24 seconds Russia’s Andrey Minyakov, who successfully defended his Russian Cup title.
Danilova catches Mengistu in the final 50 meters
The women’s race was open right down to the final meters, when Yevgeniya Danilova finally managed to overtake her Ethiopian rival Meseret Mengistu. The Russian attacked from behind and, to the delight of the local crowd, closed the 50-seconds gap and then sped up over the final 50 meters.
Mengistu was caught by surprise and could not respond to Danilova’s acceleration. It was Danilova’s second victory in her four appearances in her home city of Omsk.
“To be honest, at one point I did not believe I could catch Mengistu,” said Danilova. “I lost two minutes at the 20km mark; that is too much! African runners are very hard to catch, and I had to run alone against head wind. It really is a miracle that I won, and it’s all thanks to the support of the fans. The crowd was amazing.”
Her winning time of 2:31:50 was the second-fastest time of the 32-year-old’s career, just six seconds shy of the PB she set three years ago in Rotterdam.
Mengistu clocked 2:32:00, almost three minutes shy of her 2:29:22 PB, but was still a solid result given the fact that she recently ran the Johannesburg Marathon, which – like Taiget’s Munster appearance – was held just two weeks before today’s race.
Kenyan Emily Jelagat Rotich finished a distant third in 2:33:22.
As the Siberian International Marathon this year coincides with the All-Russian running day “Cross of nations”, the race saw record participation of more than 13,000 runners. Most of them contested shorter distances like 6km and 10 km, while 651 runners were on the start-line for the Marathon.
Natalia Maryanchik for the IAAF
1 Ketema Nigusse (ETH) 2:13:23
2 Evans Kipkorir Taiget (KEN) 2:13:28
3 David Ngakane (RSA) 2:16:36
4 Andrey Minyakov (RUS) 2:17:00
5 Tewelde Weldeyohans (ERI) 2:19:06
6 Dmitry Burmakin (RUS) 2:19:38
1 Yevgeniya Danilova (RUS) 2:31:50
2 Meseret Mengistu (ETH) 2:32:00
3 Emily Jelagat Rotich (KEN) 2:33:22
4 Nina Podnebesnova (RUS) 2:34:59
5 Sardana Trofimova (RUS) 2:35:48
6 Oxana Akimenkova (RUS) 2:39:40