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Kenya’s Mathew Kipkoech Kisorio broke away in the final 10 kilometres of the Beijing Marathon to rewrite the men’s course record at the IAAF Gold Label road race on Sunday (3).
The 30-year-old clocked 2:07:06 to earn his second victory over the classic distance, knocking 10 seconds off the course record set six years ago by Ethiopia’s 2013 world bronze medallist Tadese Tola.
“It is my first time to run in Beijing and I am very happy to win and to break the course record,” said Kisorio, who set his PB of 2:04:53 last year in Valencia. “The weather was fantastic. I expect to come to Beijing again next year.”
Starting under cloudy and drizzling skies with the temperature ranging from 7-10C, the race was fast from the outset. Four runners – Bazu Worku of Ethiopia, Kisorio and his compatriots Emmanuel Rutto and Solomon Kirwa Yego – led the race to 25km.
Worku, a three-time winner of the Houston Marathon, was the first to fade away after 28km, while 36-year-old Rutto quit the title contest after 30km. After another two kilometres, Kisorio broke away from Yego to move into a sole lead.
The 2017 Daegu Marathon winner was well on track to break the course record at 35km, reached in 1:45:10, and kept pushing ahead before hit the line in 2:07:06. Yego trailed by more than two minutes to finish second in 2:09:45. Rutto clocked 2:10:15 to finish third.
Ethiopia’s Sutume Asefa, 24, ran alone for most of the women’s race and scored her first marathon title in 2:23:31, trimming 29 seconds off her PB set in Dubai three years ago.
China’s Li Zhixuan, the sixth-place finisher in Beijing last year, took second place in 2:29:06. Pre-race favourite Mulu Seboka, the fastest entrant in the field with a PB of 2:21:56, finished third in 2:29:09.
“I am satisfied with second place but the time is kind of slower than I expected,” said the 25-year-old Li, who set a PB of 2:26:15 in Nagoya eight months ago.
The last time a Chinese runner managed to earn a podium finish in the country’s most prestigious road race was in 2014, when Gong Lihua finished third in the women’s race.(11/03/2019) Views: 513 ⚡AMP
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