Turin, ItalyFrederick Cherono (2:08:38) from Kenya and Helena Javornik (2:31:13) from Slovenia took the men’s and women’s honours respectively at today’s Turin Marathon.
Cherono, already known in Italy after last year’s Rome Marathon, set his new personal best (PB) in 2:08:38 and beat the italian Alberico Di Cecco, second in 2:09:29.
Olympic place for Di Cecco?
The second place makes Di Cecco the favourite for the much-coveted third italian spot for the Olympic Games in Athens together with the preselected Stefano Baldini and Daniele Caimmi.
The Kenyan pacemakers Elijah Nyabuti and Sylas Kirui kept a fast pace from the early stages and running the first 5 km in 15:17 and the 10 km in 30:40, inside the 2:09 pace, with Cherono catching-up with the pacemakers at 15 km (45:55).
With an Olympic berth at stake, the Italians led by Alberico Di Cecco and Migidio Bourifa (who was contesting his second marathon in just three weeks after finishing runner-up in Rome) ran a tactical race in the chasing group a few metres adrift.
Di Cecco was the one to take the initiative to close the gap on the Kenyans Daniel Cheribo and Frederik Cherono, who were running on the pacemakers’ heels. Cherono responded to their move increasing the pace at 20 km, which was reached in 1:01:35. Di Cecco was initially dropped by this move and was 7 seconds adrift Cherono.
Cherono and Cheribo pushed the pace again and finally left the pacemakers behind, with the former making a solo breakaway attempt at 28 km, which established a 15 seconds margin ahead of Cheribo. At this point he was 25 seconds ahead of the then third placed Di Cecco who had decided not to follow the Kenyans to avoid the risk of cramps.
Cherono's surge kills off final attack
However, Di Cecco’s bid for victory was not yet done and in a final move he first closed the gap on Cheribo and dropped him, and then tried to chase Cherono, with the gap between the two athletes reduced from 59 to 26 seconds by 35 km in the race.
Di Cecco’s threat to Cherono was becoming serious and in the final section of the race run in Valentino Park, the Kenyan had to force the pace, and managed to increase his lead again to 54 seconds. Cherono duly won the race lowering his previous PB of 2:08:47 to 2:08:39.
Behind Di Cecco (2:09:29) the third spot went to the surprising Daniel Cheribo who ran his first ever marathon in 2:10:56.
“I tried to push the pace in the first half when I became aware that the pacemakers were running a bit slowly. The final time is in line with what I hoped on the eve of this marathon”, said Cherono.
“I knew that that Cherono was in good shape and I could not follow him when he pushed the pace at the 30 km,” said Di Cecco. “I suffered from leg cramps and I decided to slow down. The win was not within my reach today. I did my best to deserve an Olympic spot and I am confident. Now it is up to the italian selectors for to take the final decision for Athens”, concluded Di Cecco about his Olympic hopes.
Women’s race - Jarnovik confirms favourite status
Helena Javornik confirmed her pre-race favourite role by winning in 2:31:13 ahead of the young kenyans Jennifer Chesinon, second in 2:32:46, and Jane Ekimat who finished third in 2:36:46.
Javornik set the initial pace in the first part of the race and led by 6 seconds over Chesinon. She clocked 1:15:20 for the half marathon, two minutes slower than the time she wanted to run on the eve of this marathon.
However, Javornik, who seemed in control of the race, then slowed down and was caught by Chesinon. The kenyan, winner in Carpi last autumn in her PB of 2:31:38, passed Javornik at 30 km establishing a 30 seconds over the Slovenian.
Javornick, the European Cross Country champion at Medulin in 2002, was not finsihed though recovering after the 35 km and closed the gap on Chesinon. The 38 km was crucial point in the race as it was then that Javornik made her move on Chesinon inflicted her decisive kick.
“I suffered from stomach problems during the night before the race and this affected my final time. I am a bit disappointed because I did not achieve what I hoped. My goal was to run in 2:26-2:27”, said the 38-year-old Slovenian.
Chesinon said about her second place: “It was a good course, but I could not prepare well for this marathon. When Javornik reached me at the 35 km I realised that I could not beat her.”
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF
Selected results from the Turin marathon:
1 Frederick Cherono (Kenya) 2:08:38
2 Alberico Di Cecco (Italy) 2:09:29
3 Daniel Cheribo (Kenya) 2:10:37
4 Migidio Bourifa (Italy) 2:13:38
5 Michael Kapkiai (Kenya) 2:13:53
6 Derba Bedade (Ethiopia) 2:13:54
7 Abdelkebir Lamachi (Morocco) 2:14:41
8 David Cherui (Kenya) 2:15:53
1 Helena Javornik (Slovenia) 2:31:13
2 Jennifer Chesinon (Kenya) 2:32:46
3 Jane Ekimat (Kenya) 2:36:41
4 Stefania Benedetti (Italy) 2:37:10
5 Sisay Measso (Ethiopia) 2:42:22