Emmanuel Saina of Kenya set a new South American all-comers record of 2:05:21 at the 34th edition of the Buenos Aires International Marathon, an IAAF Bronze Label road race, on Sunday (23).
In the women’s race, Kenya’s Vivian Kiplagat Jerono took the victory in 2:29:03, also a course record.
Saina’s impressive debut
Saina, who didn’t start as one of the favorites, dominated the race from the start, passing five kilometres in 14:48, alongside his compatriot Barnabas Kiptum. Both continued to race together up to the 30th kilometre, passing 10 kilometres in 29:54, 15 in 44:53, and 20 in 1:00:27. The halfway point was reached in 1:02:52 and 25km in 1:15:28.
The nice morning in the Argentine capital (18-20C) was a good ally for Saina, who by 30 kilometres (1:29:37) had opened a gap of six seconds over Kiptum. Saina continued on his way to a negative splits, with 1:43:49 at 35 kilometres and 1:58:47 at 40, before finishing the second half in 1:02:29.
The 26-year-old, who was making his debut over the distance, arrived at the line with a modest 1:02:03 personal best in the half marathon from Berkane on 1 April.
Kiptum paid the price of the fast race and finished in 2:09:19, still a personal best, while Peruvian Christian Pacheco, third with 2:11:19, also a personal best, won the South American title. Paraguayan Derlis Ayala followed with a national record of 2:13:41, while Kenyan Godfrey Kosgei was fifth in 2:14:00.
Peruvian Nelson Ito (2:16:29) completed the podium of the South American Championships, while Miguel Ángel Bárzola, seventh, was the best Argentine runner with 2:16:47.
Pre-race favorite Marius Kipserem from Kenya dropped out in the second half.
The women’s race went more ‘accordingly’ to what was expected, with Kiplagat confirming her role of favourite.
After winning the Buenos Aires Half Marathon in a course record of 1:09:10 in August, the 31-year-old was dominant, passing 10-k in 37:00, and continuing with the following splits: 1:13:40 at 20-k, 1:16:21 at Half Marathon, 1:47:15 at 30km and 2:21:14 at 40km. With 1:12:42 over the second half, Kiplagat was able to produce a very clear victory.
Kenyan Leah Jerotich was second with 2:32:58 (1:16:21 at halfway), while Ethiopian Amelework Bosho was third with 2:34:56.
Ecuadorian Rosa Alva Chacha, fifth overall, obtained the South American title with 2:35:29. Peruvians Clara Canchanya (2:39:27; sixth overall) and Gladys Machuacay (2:40:58; seventh overall) completed the South American podium. Argentine Mariela Ortiz was the best local athlete, eighth in 2:42:11.
More than 9000 runners took part of the race.
Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF
Mokoka clocks South African all-comers' record in Cape Town
Stephen Mokoka and Helalia Johannes cruised to victories at the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Sunday (23).
Bursting clear of the last remaining members of the lead group in the second half, Mokoka wrapped up a fine win in 2:08:31, setting a South African all-comers' best and clocking the fastest time in the country since 1986, when the late Zithulele Sinqe (2:08:04) and Willie Mtolo (2:08:15) clocked quicker times on an aided course. Mokoka finished half a minute ahead of Kenyan Albert Korir, who clocked 2:09:02.
"We ran into a headwind in the first half and started struggling a bit, so after halfway we tried to push the pace and I'm happy with how the race turned out," said Mokoka, whose victory also earned him the South African national title. “The course was perfect. If we didn't have a headwind, I think we could have run faster." His effort also improved the previous race record of 2:08:41.
The four-time Shanghai Marathon winner, who won the national marathon title for the first time in his career, was grateful for the crowd support throughout the race. "We got a lot of support, with people shouting my name all along the route, so it was very exciting, especially the last part of the race. Even though it was hard, I enjoyed it."
The battle for third was much closer, with Philemon Kacherian getting the nod in 2:09:13 ahead of Kenyan compatriot Kipsang Kipkemoi who clocked 2:09:21.
Johannes, the runner-up last year, won this time around in 2:29:28, the fastest women's performance in South Africa in more than 30 years and also a race record, breaking the previous mark of 2:30:20. She finished 32 seconds clear of Failuna Matanga of Tanzania who clocked 2:30:00. Further back, Urge Diro Sokoka of Ethiopia was third in 2:30:31.
Athletics South Africa and Bob Ramsak for the IAAF
1 Stephen Mokoka (RSA) 2:08:31
2 Albert Korir (KEN) 2:09:02
3 Philemon Kacherian (KEN) 2:09:13
4 Kipsang Kipkemoi (KEN) 2:09:21
5 Nicholas Rotich (KEN) 2:12:39
1 Helalia Johannes (NAM) 2:29:28
2 Failuna Matanga (TAN) 2:30:00
3 Urge Diro Sokoka (ETH) 2:30:31
4 Ayantu Gemechu Abdi (ETH) 2:31:33
5 Askale Alemayehu Adula (ETH) 2:31:34