Eritrea’s Samuel Tsegay and France’s Ophélie Claude-Boxberger took top honours at the 20km de Paris on Sunday (14), winning the 40th edition of the IAAF Silver Label road race in 58:23 and 1:09:48 respectively.
From the gun, a large group detached itself from the field. The leading pack then splintered into two parts. Tsegay, Gojjam Belayinem of Ethiopia, Felicien Muhitira of Burundi and Morhad Amdouni of France reached five kilometres in 14:40.
They were followed five seconds later by a group of six men, including the 2015 winner Stephen Ogari and France’s Hassan Chahdi.
Amdouni, the 2016 champion, was forced to drop out due to calf pain, leaving Tsegay, Belayinem and Muhitira in contention for victory. The trio passed through the halfway point in 28:56, meaning the second five-kilometre section was covered in 14:16. Alfred Cherop and Chahdi detached themselves from the chasing group and were 19 seconds behind the leaders at 10km.
Belayinem couldn’t maintain the pace and was dropped by Tsegay and Muhitira, who passed through 15 kilometres in 43:26, 38 seconds ahead of Belayinem. Chahdi remained in fourth place in 44:20, three seconds ahead of Cherop.
Tsegay, who was a last-minute entrant, made his move soon after 15 kilometres. He built a small lead over the Burundian, who wasn’t able to answer to the attack but maintained a good rhythm.
Tsegay, the 2014 world half marathon silver medallist, maintained his advantage to cross the line in 58:23. It was only his second race in 2018 following a 1:02:08 half marathon clocking in March.
Muhitira held on to take second place in 58:35, 12 seconds after the winner. Chahdi caught Belayinem in the closing stages of the race – the Ethiopian eventually dropped out – to wind up third in 59:51, 1:07 slower than his time from last year but three places higher.
In the women’s race, Liv Westphal, Samira Mezegrane-Saad, Ophélie Claude-Boxberger, Agnes Keino and Chaltu Dida passed five kilometres in 17:40. Keino then couldn’t sustain the pace and the quartet, spearheaded by Mezegrane-Saad, went through the halfway point in 34:56.
Soon after Dida, who was fourth last year in 1:07:49, ratcheted up the pace soon after. She opened a small gap over her opponents and reached 15 kilometres in 52:31. With five kilometres remaining, she had a lead of five seconds over Claude-Boxberger with Mezegrane-Saad and Westphal a further two seconds behind.
Claude-Boxberger wasn’t finished, though. She closed the gap on Dida before making a decisive move as the finish line loomed. She pulled off her first victory at this race in 1:09:48, 36 years after her father Jacky Boxberger won the 1982 edition.
“I’m very happy to win today,” she said. “I love the track but I get tears off my eyes to move up to the road. My father (who died in 2001) would have been very proud.”
Claude-Boxberger’s victory also ended the 17-year drought of French success in the women’s race at the 20km de Paris.
Dida finished second in 1:09:57, as Westphal faltered in the waning stages to round out the podium in 1:11:10.
1 Samuel Tsegay (ERI) 58:23
2 Felician Muhitira (RWA) 58:35
3 Hassan Chahdi (FRA) 59:51
4 Alfred Cherop (KEN) 1:00:25
5 John Njoki (KEN) 1:00:59
1 Ophélie Claude-Boxberger (FRA) 1:09:48
2 Chaltu Dida (ETH) 1:09:57
3 Liv Westphal (FRA) 1:11:10
4 Samira Mezeghrane-Saad (FRA) 1:11:10
5 Alice Finot (FA) 1:15:28
Quentin Guillon for the IAAF
Cheptegei and Chesang break African all-comers’ records at Durban 10km
Commonwealth 10,000m champions Joshua Cheptegei and Stella Chesang secured a Ugandan double at the FNB Durban 10K CitySurfRun, producing the fastest times ever recorded on African soil.
Cheptegei won in 27:16 to improve on his own course record by 12 seconds. In second, Switzerland’s Julien Wanders broke Mo Farah’s European record by the same margin, clocking 27:32.
Cheptegei, the world 10,000m silver medallist, set off at a brisk pace and covered the first three kilometres in 8:10. Wanders closed in on Cheptegei at half way, reached in 13:53, but the 22-year-old Ugandan broke away again in the second half and went on to win by 16 seconds.
Kenya’s Moses Koech was third in 27:46, one second ahead of Uganda’s Stephen Kissa. Three weeks after winning the Cape Town Marathon, Stephen Mokoka was the top South African finisher, placing sixth in 28:18.
Like Cheptegei, Chesang made her intentions known at the start of the women’s race. She led compatriot and defending champion Mercyline Chelangat by six seconds at three kilometres and 11 seconds at half way.
Chesang’s winning margin grew to 22 seconds with kilometre to go, and although Chelangat made up a bit of ground in the closing stages, Chesang was away and clear. She won in an African all-comers’ record of 31:14, taking 24 seconds off the national record Chelangat set last year.
Chelangat also finished inside that mark, clocking 31:33 to place second. South Africa’s Irvette van Zyl was third in a PB of 32:06.
Kyeva breaks Poznan course record
Seven years after winning the PKO Poznan Marathon, Kenya’s Cosmas Mutuku Kyeva returned to the IAAF Bronze Label road race on Sunday (14) and improved on his own course record.
The 33-year-old won in 2:11:45 to take eight seconds from the mark he set in 2011. Ethiopia’s Tesfanesh Merga set a PB to win the women’s race in 2:32:31, the second-fastest winning time in the 19-year history of the event.
Paced by Poland’s Szymon Kulka, the early leading pack of six men had been whittled down to four runners by the half-way point, reached in 1:05:20. Kyeva, fellow Kenyan Silas Kipngetich Sang and Ethiopian duo Abayneh Belachew Endale and Getachew Kene Tufa stuck together through 30 kilometres, reached in 1:33:17.
Five kilometres later, just Kyeva and Belachew remained at the front as Tufa and Sang started to fade. Kyeva proved to be the strongest in the final two kilometres and went on to win in 2:11:45 with Belachew finishing six seconds later. Sang placed a distant third in 2:14:32.
Joined by Ethiopian compatriots Tsgereda Girma and Alemitu Ajema, Tesfanesh Merga went through half way in the women’s race in 1:14:47, putting them on schedule to break the course record of 2:31:55.
Girma dropped behind her two teammates as they approached 30 kilometres. Merga then forged ahead as Ajema started to fade with Girma moving back up into second place. Merga continued to extend her lead in the final few kilometres and won by more than two minutes in 2:32:31.
Girma finished second in 2:34:59 with Ajema almost a minute adrift in third place, clocking 2:35:57.
1 Cosmas Mutuku Kyeva (KEN) 2:11:45
2 Abayneh Belachew Endale (ETH) 2:11:51
3 Silas Kipngetich Sang (KEN) 2:14:32
4 Getachew Kene Tufa (ETH) 2:18:09
5 Abdelkabir Saji (MAR) 2:18:36
1 Tesfanesh Merga (ETH) 2:32:31
2 Tsgereda Girma (ETH) 2:34:59
3 Alemitu Ajema (ETH) 2:35:57
4 Agnieszka Gortel-Maciuk (POL) 2:37:16
5 Andżelika Dzięgiel (POL) 2:42:01
Kipkemboi runs Romanian all-comers’ record in Bucharest
One year after finishing second at the Raiffeisen Bank Bucharest Marathon, Kenya’s Hosea Kipkemboi took top honours at the IAAF Bronze Label road race with a Romanian all-comers’ record of 2:11:32.
Ethiopia’s Almaz Gelana, meanwhile, successfully defended her title, clocking 2:41:29 to win by almost nine minutes.
Having run alongside compatriot Joel Kimutai for most of the race, Kipkemboi broke free in the closing stages to win by 28 seconds, taking one minute and one second off his previous PB to achieve the first marathon victory of his career.
Kimutai’s time of 2:11:59 was also inside the previous course record and all-comers’ best. Ethiopia’s Kaleb Kashebo was third in 2:13:22.
While the men’s race went down to the wire, Gelana was unopposed in the women’s contest. Her winning time was 27 seconds quicker than her mark from last year.