Netsanet Gudeta of Ethiopia and Stephen Kiprop of Kenya took decisive victories at the 9th Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon

Gudeta, the world half marathon champion, dominated from the outset en route to her 1:07:30 triumph. In her first appearance over the distance since breaking the world record for a women's only race with her 1:06:11 run at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships Valencia 2018, Netsanet Gudeta, was on her own soon after the gun sounded, reaching five kilometers in 15:55, 18 seconds clear of her nearest challenger, compatriot Aselefech Mergia. From there she only added to her lead, passing 10 kilometers in 31:57 and 15 kilometers in 47:53, by then 1:43 clear of Mergia. "I feel really great about today’s race," said the 27-year-old Gudeta, whose winning time was the third fastest of her career. "I launched my attack early on to ensure I secured first place and I’m delighted that I managed to keep it up right until the finish line." Conversely, the men's race was one of patience, with eight men still in contention at the 15-kilometer point, reached in 43:21. Kiprop proved the strongest, pulling away late in the race to build a insurmountable lead en route to his 1:00:15 course record."I had my sights set on breaking the event record and I’m delighted that my plan worked out," said Kiprop, who at 19 is beginning to make waves over the distance. He won the Venloop in Venlo, Netherlands, on March 25, clocking 59:44. "The wind wasn’t half as bad as it seemed at the start, though if it hadn’t been there at all, I could easily have run 30 seconds faster. Even so, I really enjoyed the race."

posted Monday June 25th