Running in ideal conditions, Leonard Komon won the 28th Dam tot Damloop 10-miler today, clocking 44:48.
The 24-year-old Kenyan was more than 20 seconds short of Haile Gebrselassie’s world best time. But he did run the best time of 2012 by far. In her Dam tot Damloop debut, Sylvia Kibet won in the women’s section. The track athlete was simply too fast for the competition in the final sprint, winning in 51:42.
Early in the race, Komon showed that he possessed the best legs. After 19 minutes he separated himself from the field and ran with a smooth stride towards Zaandam. Daniel Chebii went on the attack, but in vain. Komon, who also won last year, travelled to Amsterdam with one purpose: to run the world’s best time. After the finish he was therefore very disappointed.
"The weather was good this year. I do not know where it went wrong," said, Komon, who clocked 44:27 last year. "I'm going to go home and think about the cause." He will realise later that this was nonetheless an excellent achievement. Daniel Chebii finished second (45:02). Abera Kuma took third place (45:28).
In the women's field the group remained together longer. The battle in the final kilometres was between Kibet, Bezunesh Bekele and Esther Chemtai. Kibet, the fast track athlete, smartly waited until the last 400 metres with the final sprint. The competition had no answer.
Bekele finished second (51:45) and Chemtai finished third (51:54).
"This gives me a taste for more," beamed Kibet afterwards. We will no doubt be encountering her more often in the future. Hilda Kibet was fourth and the first Dutch woman in 52:45. She sounded happy afterwards, because she ran a Marathon only six weeks ago. She also said that she is preparation for the New York Marathon.
Organisers for the IAAF
1 Leonard Komon (KEN) 44:48
2 Daniel Chebii (KEN) 45:02
3 Abera Kuma (ETH) 45:28
4 Hillary Kipchumba (KEN) 45:37
5 Timothy Kiptoo (KEN) 46:10
1 Sylvia Kibet (KEN) 51:42
2 Bezunesh Bekele (ETH) 51:45
3 Esther Chemtai (KEN) 51:54
4 Hilda Kibet (NED) 52:45
5 Josephine Chepkoech (KEN) 53:17