18 November 2012 - Nijmegen, The Netherlands - Running under an overcast sky with very light rain, Tirunesh Dibaba and Nicholas Kipkemboi won the 29th edition of the ABN-AMRO Zevenheuvelenloop 15 kilometres in the easter Dutch city of Nijmegen on Sunday.
Dibaba's victory, with a time of 47:08, was not a surprise. The victory by Kipkemboi was however as the Kenyan clocked 42:01 to beat the world record holder over the distance, compatriot Leonard Komon, into second place. Kipkemoi built a 17 second advantage on Komon over the final three kilometres.
Dibaba and Komon are both World record holders over 15 Kilometres, setting their marks on this hilly course. Dibaba clocked 46:28 in 2009 while Komon's 41:13 came two years ago.
In the men's race there was a leading group of five. Kipkemoi, Komon, their compatriot Kennedy Kimutai, Ethiopian Abera Kuma and Eritrean Nguse Amlosom passed the five kilometres marker in 13:57. With that split the chance of breaking the course and World record was nearly gone. Although the pace stayed even Amlosom, Kimutai and Kuma could not follow. Kipkemoi and Komon passed ten kilometres in 27:59; Kimutai was then two seconds back while the others had lost more. Amlosom, who came back strongly in the final kilometers, was then 24 seconds back.
Kipkemboi was very strong in the final five kilometres. He dropped the struggling Komon at around 12 kilometres and gained 16 seconds on him in the final three kilometres. Amlosom came back very strong and beat Kimutai in the final stretch by one second for third place.
The women's race was in the beginning nearly a copy of the men's. Ethiopians Dibaba, Tiki Gelana and Gelete Burka passed as a trio the five kilometres mark in 15:56. Dibaba, the London Olympic 10,000m champion, was very strong and lost her opponents half way through the race. She passed the 10Km in 31:40, nearly half a minute (32:08) ahead of Gelana, the Olympic Marathon champion. In the final five kilometres Dibaba gained more than a minute over her compatriot. Beatrice Mutai took third place in 48:51.
Wim van Hemert for the IAAF
1. Nicholas Kipkemboi, KEN 42:01 (splits 13:58-27:59)
2. Leonard Komon, KEN 42:18
3. Nguse Amlosom, ERI 42:28
4. Kennedy Kimitai, KEN 42:29
5. Abera Kuma, ETH 43:05
6. Alfers Lagat, KEN 43:36
7. Bouabdellah Tahri, FRA 43:49
8. Mulue Andom, ERI 43:58
9. Hillary Kemboi, KEN 44:10
10. Abdi Nageeye, NED 44:13
11. Jonathan Mellor, GBR 44:19
12. Jesper van der Wielen, NED 44:27
13. Mohammed Burka, ETH 44:37
14. Morten Munkholm, DEN 45:42
15. Roy Hoornweg, NED 45:43
1. Tirunesh Dibaba, ETH 47:08 (splits 15:55-31:40)
2. Tiki Gelana, ETH 48:09
3. Beatrice Mutai, KEN 48:52
4. Lucy Macharia, KEN 49:00
5. Gelete Burka, ETH 49:26
6. Aki Odagiri, JPN 50:57
7. Merel de Knegt, NED 51:43
8. Eriko Kushima, JPN 51:49
9. Hikari Yasuhara, JPN 52:14
10. Miranda Boonstra, NED 52:23