Alphen aan den Rijn, The NetherlandsKenyan Wilson Chebet and his compatriot Pauline Wangui were the winners of a very windy edition of the 20km in Alphen aan den Rijn on Sunday (8).
Chebet ran the distance through the so called ‘Green Heart’ of the country in 57:52. Wangui clocked 1:06:39.
The 23-year-old Chebet broke away from his last three opponent around 12 kilometres and was never in danger afterwards. A big group ran the first 5km in a rather slow 14:25, and then Chebet, the Ethiopians Raji Assefa, Tessema Abshiro and Frenchman Mohammed El Hachinimi broke away and ran together to around the 12 kilometres. In the process they passed the 10km in 28:40.
Fighting a strong head wind in a temperature of around 8 degrees CT Chebet pressed the pace and finally took a decisive lead on his opponents. He passed 15 kilometres in 43:04 and was never in danger after that time. His winning clocking was exactly a minute over the course record of 56:52 which Ethiopian Eshetu Wondimu set two years ago (56:52) in this race which is called the classical opener of the road racing season in The Netherlands.
Six seconds behind the victor, Assefa and Abshiro sprinted for the second place. Both runners clocked 57:58, Assefa getting the better of his opponent. Hachinimi finished a distant fourth in 58:11.
Pauline Wangui (24) was a convincing winner of the women’s race. She was 51 seconds faster as compatriot Gladys Otero (1:07:48). Agnes Kiprotich also of Kenya finished third in 1:10:18.
Chebet and Wangui were very happy with their victories. “It was a difficult race with this strong wind,” Chebet said afterwards. “I was fighting the wind alone” was the comment of Wangui.
Wim van Hemert for the IAAF
1.Wilson Chebet Ken 57:52
2. Raji Assefa Eth 57:58
3. Tessema Abbshiro Eth 57:58 correct
4. Mohammed El Hachinimi Fra 58:11
5. Robert Kiprono Ken 59:36
6. Richard Limo Ken 59:59
7. Rachid Ezzouniou Mar 1:00:04
8. Riyad El Mostapha Bhr 1:00:09
9. Elijah Mogo Ken 1:00.31
10. Mesfin Adimasu Eth 1:01:22
11. Julius Kengethe Ken 1:01:27
12. Abdelhadi El Hachimi Mar 1:01:54
13. William Kipsang Ken 1:02:56
14. Koen Raymaekers Ned 1:03:35
15. Fransua Woldemariam Ned 1:06:01
1.Pauline Wangui Ken 1:06:39
2. Gladys Otero Ken 1:07:48
3. Agnes Kiprotich Ken 1:08:18
4. Frida Lopeda Ken 1:10:50
5. Petra Kaminkova Cze 1:11:43