Rose Cheruiyot en route to her big win at the Great South Run (Mark Shearman) © Copyright
General News Portsmouth, GBR

Kibet, Cheruiyot take Great South Run titles

Rose Cheruiyot had little trouble in denying Hayley Yelling and Mara Yamauchi a home victory as she took the honours while World Marathon champion Luke Kibet won the men's race in today's (28) BUPA Great South Run in Portsmouth.

The Kenyan star dominated the 10-mile race from to start to finish to win at a canter ahead of Yelling, who in a thrilling finish outsprinted fellow British international Yamauchi.

Cheruiyot, after a disappointing Marathon display at the recent World Championships in Japan, returned to top form to post an excellent time of 53 minutes 44 seconds in very wet and windy conditions.

"I suffered from the heat and humidity in Osaka but this win shows I'm clearly getting back to my best form," said Cheruiyot, who finished six minutes behind ninth-placed Yamauchi in Japan.

While the African built up a 23-second advantage at the halfway point, Yelling and Yamauchi fought a cat-and-mouse duel until the final 600 metres, when their competitiveness erupted.

Yelling made what looked a winning break until Yamauchi pulled her back but the latter had to acknowledge defeat as she failed to respond to another desperate sustained charge from her rival.

"I could feel her up my backside so I just kept my head down and pushed as hard as I could," said Yelling after holding on by a second in a time of 54:12.

The former European Cross Country champion, added: "Given the conditions that is a good time and after running well in the Great North Run last month and now this, things seems to be getting better."

Yamauchi, who for the last two years has been the country's number one distance runner in the absence of Paula Radcliffe, expressed satisfaction with her showing.

"It's my first race since the Worlds and I've been stepping up my endurance and speed work since returning to training," said the Tokyo-based athlete, who lowered her personal best by over one-and-a-half minutes.

Liz Yelling, after her outstanding fourth place in the Chicago Marathon three weeks ago, had clearly not recovered from her tremendous display in the US.

"I wanted to do well but there was just nothing there - that's my slowest-ever 10 miler," said Yelling, 11th in 58:02.

Late race break for Kibet

There was a polished display from World Marathon champion Luke Kibet, always prominent in a four-man breakaway field, until taking charge of the race in the last 2.5 miles.

The Kenyan, who scored the championship's biggest-ever winning margin with his success in Osaka, sealed victory with his tactical move, although he suffered immediately afterwards.

"It was really hard after that, the wind off the sea was battering against me and it really, really hurt," said Kibet, who posted an impressive mark of 47:31.

That saw him beat off the challenge of Chema Martinez, the Spaniard clocking 47:50 and finishing runner-up for a second successive year with Jonathan Maiyo of Kenya third, just two seconds behind.

David Martin (PA Sport) for the IAAF