Auspicious debut - 2:06:18 for Gilbert Yegon in Amsterdam to take down Haile Gebrselassie's course record (Tom Metiary/organisers) © Copyright
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Another sizzling debut - 2:06:18 by Yegon in Amsterdam to break Gebrselassie's course record

Amsterdam, The NetherlandsIn his Marathon debut, Kenyan Gilbert Yegon won the 34th Amsterdam Marathon today in 2:06:18, breaking the course record set by Haile Gebrselassie four years ago.

The Amsterdam Marathon is an IAAF Silver Label Road Race.

The 21-year-old Kenyan was an impressive winner and most telling by the way he ran the final stage of the race. Yegon was 23 seconds ahead of compatriot Elijah Keitany, who set a personal best time just like another Kenyan, Paul Biwott, finishing third in 2:07:02.

The women's race was won by Eyerusalem Kuma of Ethiopia in 2:27:42. Her compatriot Woinshet Girma finished second in a personal best of 2:29:50. Dutchwoman Hilda Kibet finished third capturing the national title in a personal best of 2:30:33.

Yegon – ‘I could have gone under 2:06’

In nearly ideal weather (11 degrees C, light winds and sunny) a large group of 26 set out on a fast pace, covering the first five kilometres in 14:48. The pace stayed sharp and 12 men passed the half way mark in 1:02:57. That group stayed together until 30 kms (1:29:38). In the 5000 metres between kilometres 30 and 35 the quick pace became too difficult for some of the leaders and the 35 kms marker was passed in 1:44:22 by four runners - Yegon, Keitany, Biwott and Nicolas Chelimo.

Just after the 35th kilometre, Yegon broke away from his compatriots. In a few hundred metres he opened a gap and after that he was never in danger. He covered the eighth five kilometres in 14:48. Keitany and Biwott tried to follow but they lost over forty seconds in that part of the race. Chelimo fell further back and was passed in the final stage by Ethiopian Teferi Wodajo.

Yegon was delighted with his victory.

“I could have been even faster in this race,” he said. “In the last stretch to the Olympic Stadium I was hindered by cramps in my legs. It was painful and I think that had I not had this problem I could have gone under 2:06:00.'' It could clearly been seen that the African was in pain over the last part of the race in the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium.

Dutchman Koen Raymaekers finished 13th in a personal best of 2:12:59 to became national champion.

Double Ethiopian success in the women's race

Eyerusalem Kuma won the women's race in 2:27:43. It was a double Ethiopian success as Woinshet Girma took second place over a minute back in a personal best of 2:29:50. Hilda Kibet of The Netherlands finished third in a PB of 2:30:33 to win the national title.

Kuma and Kibet led from the start with another another Ethiopian, Etalemahu Kidane. After the 35 km point Kuma broke away. Woinshet Girma ran a rather strong last half passing Kidane and Kibet to take the runner-up spot.

Wim van Hemert for the IAAF

Leading Results -

 1. Gilbert Yegon, KEN            2:06:18 Course record, Debut (previous course record 2:06:20 Haile Gebrselassie 2005)
Splits: 14:48-29:48-44:40-59:41-1:02:57-1:14:24-1:29:38-1:44:22-1:59:10)
 2. Elijah Keitany, KEN           2:06:41 debut
 3. Paul Biwott, KEN              2:07:02 PB
 4. Teferi Wodajo, ETH            2:07:45 PB
 5. Nicholas Chelimo, KEN         2:07:46 PB
 6. Daniel Yego, KEN              2:08:20 
 7. Daniel Kosgei, KEN            2:08:58 PB
 8. Getu Feleke, ETH              2:09:32 PB
 9. Tesfaye Tola, ETH             2:10:22
10. Evans Kiplagat, KEN           2:10:46 debut
11. Dan Robinson, GBR             2:12:14 PB
12. Charles Kibiwott, KEN         2:12:40
13. Koen Raymaekers, NED          2:12:59 PB, National champion
14. Robert Kipchumba, KEN         2:13:01 
15. Hugo van den Broek, NED       2:13:25 2nd NC
16. Patrick Stitzinger, NED       2:15:01 debut, 3rd NC
17. Makato Ogura, JPN             2:15:13
18. Getu Birbo, ETH               2:16:19
19. Tesfaye Bekele, ETH           2:17:23
20. Robert Ton, NED               2:17:29 PB
21. Rens Dekkers, NED             2:18:04 PB
22. Neals Strik, NED              2:18:10 PB
23. Ronald Schroer, NED           2:18:14 PB
24. Lander van Droogenbroeck, BEL 2:21:29   deb
25. Jeroen Veldhuis, NED          2:21:58  PB
 1. Eyerusalem Kuma, ETH         2:27:43
 2. Woinshet Girma, ETH          2:29:50 PB
 3. Hilda Kibet, NED             2:30:33 PB   National champion
 4. Etalemahu Kidane, ETH        2:31:11 debut
 5. Teresa Pulido, ESP           2:32:53
 6. Meseret Legesse, ETH         2:33:18 
 7. Mram van Reijen, NED         2:44:02 debut, 2nd NC
 8. Colette Fagan, GBR           2:45:11
 9. Cicilia Fager, SWE           2:45:46
10. Gladys Ganielo O'Neill, GBR  2:46:46
11. Stijntje Reulen, NED         2:48:44 3rd NC
12. Esther Schipper, NED         2:50:50