Close! Charles Kamathi edges Nicolas Chelimo Kipkorir in Eindhoven, with both clocking 2:07:38 (Nico Delmeire) © Copyright
General News Eindhoven, The Netherlands

In a thriller, Kamathi takes 2:07:38 victory in Eindhoven

In a thrilling three man sprint finish, Kenyan Charles Kamathi won the 27th edition of the Eindhoven Marathon on Sunday (10) in 2:07:38.

Kamathi was a split second faster than his compatriot Nicolas Chelimo Kipkorir, who was credited with the same time. Pre-race favourite Paul Biwott finished third in 2:07:40.

Atsede Habtamu Besuye was the winner of the women's race in 2:25:35. The 22-year-old Ethiopian gave Eindhoven a new women's course record bettering the previous mark of 2:29:45 set by Dutchwoman Nadja Wijenberg in 1999.

In near ideal conditions - light wind, sunny 15 degrees CT - the men got off to a rather fast start covering the initial five kilometers in 15:10. The large lead pack of nearly 20 runners stayed together through 10Km (30:00) and 15Km (45:12) with Biwott pressing the pace.

At halfway, reached in 1:03:18, the group was down to 17. The pace then took its toll at 25Km (1:15:21) when the leaders lost most of their pacemakers.  The leading pack consisted of the Kenyans Biwott, Alfred Kering, Isaac Macharia Wanjohi, Kamathi, Felix Keny, Chelimo, Joseph Ngeny and Eritrean  Yared Dagaw. Josphat Keiyo was the only pacer left.

At around 28 kilometers, first Biwott and later Kamathi ran into some problems and fell slightly back with Dagnaw now pressing the pace. Behind the leaders Biwott and Kamathi managed to restore contact. Pacemaker Keiyo left the course at 35Kms (1:46:00); soon after Kering lost contact with six remaining in contention a kilometre later: Biwott, Kamathi, Chelimo, Dagnaw, Keny and Koech. 

At 37Km there the pack was reduces to four: Biwott, Kamathi, Chelimo and Dagnaw. Eritrean Dagnaw was the first to fall back with the remaining three passing the 40th kilometre in 2:01:25. The trio stayed together until the final 20 metros, with Kamathi prevailing in a sensational finish.

"It is a pity I could not break the course record of 2:07:01 which Geoffrey Mutai set last year. But I am happy with my victory," Kamathi said.

Atsede Habtamu Besuye won the women's race running hard from the start. With her personal pacemaker, compatriot Abyote Girma, she was simply far too strong for her opponents. For a long time it appeared as though Habtamu was would be attacking her 2:24:47 personal best which propelled her to the Berlin Marathon title in 2009. Hopes for that failed however when her pacesetter left the course after 25 kilometres, but she still won comfortably by nearly five minutes ahead of compatriot Tsega Gelaw.

Wim van Hemert for the IAAF
Leading Results:
Men -
 1. Charles Kamathi, KEN            2:07:38
splits 15:08-29:59-45:11-1:03:18-1:15:19-1:30:38-1:45:58-2:01:20
 2. Nicolas Chelimo Kipkorir, KEN   2:07:38 PB
 3. Paul Biwott, KEN                2:07:40
 4. Yared Dagnaw, ERI               2:08:13 PB
 5. Alfred Kering, KEN              2:09:17
 6. Cosmas Koech, KEN               2:09:25 PB
 7. Joseph Ngeny, KEN               2:09:51
 8. Nathan Nabei, KEN               2:12:59
 9. Bedane Dadi Ourge, ETH          2:13:25
10. Julius Muriuki, KEN             2:16:58
Women -
 1. Atsede Habtamu Besuye, ETH    2:25:35 CR*
 2. Tsega Gelaw, ETH              2:30:10 PB
 3. Anne Kosgei, KEN              2:31:05  
 4. Sharon Tavengwa, ZIM          2:33:07 PB
 5. Workitu Ayano Gurma, ETH      2:34:01
 6. Jacqueline Nytepi, KEN        2:36:28
 7. Sally Barsosio, KEN           2:36:44
 8. Risper Kimaiyo, KEN           2:37:54
 9. Lydia Njeri Mathati, KEN      2:39:12
10. Heleen Plaatzer , NED         2:43:02
*previous 2:29:45, Nadja Wijenberg (NED), 1999