Samuel Wanjiru, the Olympic Marathon gold medallist, won this morning Porto Sport Zone Half Marathon. His countrywoman Pamela Chepchumba took the women’s title.
The recent Olympic champion and Olympic record holder came to Portugal in his first race after his performance in the Beijing Olympic Games, and he finished the race in a record time of 1:01:24.
“This was not so easy to win, because I’m still recovering from the Olympic Games marathon,” Wanjiru said. “So, this was a good performance.”
Wanjiru, who will celebrate his 22nd birthday on 10 November, has a personal best of 58:33 over the distance along with a Marathon PB of 2:05:24 from this year’s London Marathon.
Second in this race was another Kenyan, Jacob Yator (with a personal best of 1:01:09 from this year’s Paris Half Marathon), who was well back clocking 1:02:41, in a race where the rabbit, the Portuguese Rui Pedro Silva, finished in the fifth place (1h04m56s). This was not a particularly competitive Half Marathon, despite the good course.
The women’s race produced another Kenyan win, by Pamela Chepchumba, the IAAF World Road Running Championships bronze medallist last year in Udine (Italy), with 1:10:26, ten seconds ahead of her countrywoman Lena Cheruyiot, who has a personal best of 1:09:45 from this year’s Paris Half Marathon.
The best Portuguese was Marisa Barros, who ran her second Marathon in Beijing (32nd), finishing in fifth place, ahead of triathlon Olympic silver medallist Vanessa Fernandes, also from Portugal.
The women’s race was more competitive than the men’s with the first three runners all running faster than last year’s winning performance of 1:11:23.
António Manuel Fernandes for the IAAF
Leading Results -
1. Samuel Wanjiru, KEN 1:01:24
2. Jacob Yator, KEN 1:02:41
3. Thomas Kipkosgei, KEN 1:02:53
4. Wilson Kenbenei, KEN 1:04:13
5. Rui Pedro Silva, POR 1:04:56
6. António Salvador, POR 1:05:19
1. Pamela Chepchumba, KEN 1:10:26
2. Lena Cheruyot, KEN 1:10:36
3. Gladys Cherono, KEN 1:10:42
4. Alba Console, ITA 1:12:31
5. Marisa Barros, POR 1:13:56
6. Vanessa Fernandes, POR 1:17:04