Four years after his first victory, Zimbabwe’s Collen Makaza won the IAU 50km World Trophy Final in Doha on Friday (31), while USA’s Emily Harrison lived up to her status as the favourite in the women’s race.
Conditions were even hotter than expected as temperatures hovered around 30°C, so times were generally slower than in previous editions of the World Trophy Final.
Makaza was joined by Great Britain’s Phil Anthony for the first 35km, but the 34-year-old then opened up a one-minute gap over the Briton during the course of the next five kilometres.
Anthony made up a bit of ground in the last five miles, but it wasn’t enough to catch Makaza, who won in 3:00:41, 45 seconds ahead of Anthony.
It was Makaza’s second victory in the event, following his 2:47:22 win in Galway four years ago.
Harm Sengers of the Netherlands was third in 3:05:01, having covered the second half of the race one minute quicker than the first.
Britain’s Paul Martelletti, who was third at this event in 2012, missed out on the podium this time, finishing fourth in 3:11:05, four-and-a-half minutes ahead of Ireland’s Gary O’Hanlon.
Having posted a time of 3:15:01 earlier this year, Harrison was the big favourite in the women’s race and she didn’t disappoint.
Canada's Catrin Jones led after 10km and tried to open up a bit of distance over her rivals, but Harrison kept in close enough contact and was able to overhaul her before moving away.
Harrison clocked 3:32:30 as Great Britain's Jo Zakrzewski had a strong final 10km, also going past Jones and finishing less than a minute in arrears of the winner, crossing the line second in 3:33:23.
Jones was a distant third in 3:37:57 but comfortably took the bronze medal ahead of Norway’s Rita Nordsveen.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF
1 Collen Makaza (ZIM) 3:00:41
2 Phil Anthony (GBR) 3:01:26
3 Harm Sengers (NED) 3:05:01
4 Paul Marteletti (GBR) 3:11:05
5 Gary O'Hanlon (IRL) 3:14:35
6 Michael Wardian (USA) 3:18:11
7 Raivis Zakis (LAT) 3:20:12
8 Wouter Decock (BEL) 3:22:02
9 Tomoya Sugimoto (JPN) 3:24:55
10 Thomas Klingenberg (GER) 3:29:42
1 Emily Harrison (USA) 3:32:30
2 Joanna Zakrzewski (GBR) 3:33:23
3 Catrin Jones (CAN) 3:37:57
4 Rita Nordsveen (NOR) 3:45:21
5 Neza Mravlje (SLO) 3:48:42
6 Pamela Veith (GER) 3:48:51
7 Valeria Sesto (GBR) 3:49:59
8 Svetlana Tkach (MDA) 3:53:04
9 Irina Antrapova (RUS) 3:53:59
10 Beverley Anderson (CAN) 3:57:22