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Madrid, SpainKenya’s Moses Arusei stamped his authority at the 34th ‘Maratón Popular de Madrid’ held today in the Spanish capital to set a new course record of 2:10:58 in the process. The 26-year-old got the better of the defending champion Thomson Cherogony also of Kenya who ran under his previous record with a 2:11:03 effort to take second.
This event is an IAAF Silver Label Road Race which was held on a nice day with the thermometre ranging in the 14º-18º range.
The women’s competition witnessed the victory of last year’s champion Ethiopia’s Desta Girma Tadesse in a modest 2:35:28, two seconds faster than her compatriot Gebriel Teamu, who was making her debut over the 41.195Km distance.
Arusei heads clean sweep of medals for Kenya – men’s race
Feared of the up-hill closing sections, the race opened not particularly fast led by the pacesetters from Spain. By the tenth kilometre point a large group of Africans ruled the event for a 30:35 split, still the fastest ever 10km split in the history of the event.
The pace remained unchanged for the following miles and a large group of no less than 12 athletes reached the halfway point in 1:04:35 which became the first serious hint that a new course record was on the cards. By then, the only European hope represented by Ukraine’s Vasyl Matviychuk had already lost ground and ran lonesome in 13th.
Once the rabbits dropped out the race, Arusei’s front running soon paid off and only three athletes were able to stay at his shoulder by the 35th km (1:47:07) in the guise of his fellow Kenyans Cherogony and Francis Kiprop plus Ethiopia’s Gamal Belal Salem.
With some two kilometres left Arusei, a 2:06:50 marathoner, confirmed his supremacy taking advantage of an up-hill section to open a 20-metre gap on Cherogony, and there was not catching him and the Seoul 2009 Marathon winner romped home victorious to dip under the 2:11:00 performance for the first time in the history of the competition.
While Cherogony secured his runner-up place, Francis Kiprop completed the Kenyan podium ahead of Belal Salem who faded dramatically over the last couple of kilometres.
An exhausted Arusei explained at the end: “I’m satisfied with my win but while the first half of the race was comfortable to run, the second part is full of ups and downs and the hilly closing five kilometres makes this marathon really tough. Anyway, I liked how the people cheered on me throughout.”
Girma Tadesse completes hat trick of victories on Spanish soil - women's race
The women’s side witnessed another clean sweep of medals for the Ethiopian squad on this occasion. Joined by a large group of male athletes, the split for the halfway point was a moderate 1:15:32 with five women still in contention: Girma Tadesse, Teamu, Shuru Diriba, Worknesh Tola and Hellen Kimutai, all of them from Ethiopia except for the Kenyan Kimutai, the fastest woman of the entry list at 2:25:27.
The pace began to decrease throughout of the second half but it proved to be fast enough to secure a full success for the Ethiopians as Kimutai had lost any podium chance when the leading group reached the 35th point in 2:07:36.
With one kilometre to go the four Ethiopians remained together at the top but Girma Tadesse’s late burst of speed was leaving behind the others gradually although Teamu stayed close until the final 100 metres, two seconds separating the first two (2:35:28 and 2:35:30, respectively). Today’s was Girma Tadesse’s third marathon win on Spanish soil over the last 14 months following last year’s successes in Seville and Madrid.
Kipkosgei defeats Keflezighi and España over 10Km
In the 10Km race which opened the day Kenya’s Joseph Kipkosgei Bwambok snatched a surprise victory in 28:59 and a 13-second margin on Spain’s Rafael Iglesias, a 2:10:44 marathoner who placed 6th at the Barcelona Europeans last summer. This duo left behind the pre-races favourites in the guise of USA’s 2004 Olympics Marathon silver medallist Meb Keflezighi, who had to settle for third in 29:25, and Spain’s reigning Euopean 5000m silver medallist Jesús España, fourth timed at 29:42.
Emeterio Valiente for the IAAF
Leading Results -? Men: 1. Moses Arusei, KEN 2:10:58 (Course record) 2. Thompson Cherogony, KEN 2:11:03 3. Francis Kiprop, KEN 2:11:50 4. Gamal Belal Salem, ETH 2:12:27 5. Francis Kibiwott, KEN 2:13:08 6. David Toniok Cherono, KEN 2:13:09 7. Alex Kiriu, KEN 2:14:50 8. Mitku Suboka Tulu, ETH 2:15:17 9. Amos Maiyo, KEN 2:15:44 10. Vasyl Matviychuk, UKR 2:16:21
Women - 1. Girma Tadesse, ETH 2:35:28 2. Woldegebriel Teami, ETH 2:35:30 3. Worknesh Tola, ETH 2:35:35 4. Shuru Deriba, ETH 2:35:48 5. Hellen Kimutai, KEN 2:36:30 6. Pauline Wangui KEN 2:38:05 7. Yailen García, CUB 2:41:58 8. Rose Jepchumba, KEN 2:44:02 9. Radiy Mohamed Roba, ETH 2:48:47 10. Irene Martín, ESP 2:59:38