Mwangangi and Kibet to be compensated after being disqualified at Quad Cities Marathon

Tyler Pence won the Quad Cities Marathon this weekend when two Kenyan runners who had far outpaced him were disqualified after being diverted off the course by a race volunteer bicyclist.

Pence crossed the finish line in 2:15.06 to become the first U.S. runner since 2001 to win the race. The head track and cross-country coach at the University of Illinois-Springfield, Pence logged his fastest time ever with the win. His time is the third best in the history of the event and earned him the first prize of $3,000.

It came after Elijah Mwangangi Saolo and Luke Kibet diverted from the course a little more than halfway to the finish line when the bicycle rider leading them mistakenly went straight when he should have turned.

Elijah Mwangangi Saolo and Luke Kibet were left to wonder what might have been had they not diverted from the course on Arsenal Island, a little more than halfway to the finish line.

Saolo and Kibet were far out in front of Pence and the rest of the pack as they came down Rodman Avenue on the island. But the bicycle rider leading them through the course mistakenly went straight on Rodman when he should have turned, and the two Kenyans followed him.

Race director Joe Moreno confirmed that the bicyclist went the wrong way.

As Moreno explained the mistake to Saolo and Kibet near the finish line, the bicyclist stood nearby on the brink of tears.

“I messed up royally,’’ he muttered.

Moreno said he needed to look at video of the mistake but said it was very likely the race would do something for both Saolo and Kibet.

“I don’t want this to be a total loss for them so I think there is going to be some compensation for them,’’ he said. “That shows that we are taking some responsibility ourselves. As race director, I feel somewhat responsible … It’s very likely we’re going to compensate them Today.’’

He said he and his race committee would learn from the mistake.

“The responsibility falls on (the bicyclist) to know the course,’’ Moreno added. “The responsibility falls on the chairman of those bicyclists … That’s not acceptable.

“Our volunteers have to be better trained or qualified. We just can’t have any bicyclists any more. We’re going to have some qualifying standards to have that responsible position … We learn from this experience.’’

Kuwait’s Alali Mo Abdulmohsen finished in second place while Philemon Terer of Kenya, who was seeking his fourth Quad Cities title, placed fifth.

Saolo was on a near-record pace before his mishap occurred. He is the grandson of Joseph Nzau, a Kenya running legend who won the Quad-City Times Bix 7 twice in the 1980s.

Helah Kiprop to battle Ednah Kiplagat at the Boston Marathon

Former World Athletics Championships silver medallist, Helah Kiprop will battle for the top honors at the 125th edition of the Boston Marathon that will be held on October 11th in Boston, Massachusetts

Kiprop who competed at the virtual Boston marathon last year, has intensified her training in Iten under head coach David Marus.

She will battle for the pole position with the likes off with 2013 World Champion Ednah Kiplagat, Diana Chemtai, Purity Changwony, Caroline Chepkoech and Monica Wanjiru.

“My training is going on well with hopes of earning good results in Boston after a very long time out of competition due to maternity leave,” said Kiprop.

She last competed at the 2018 Tokyo marathon where she finished 5th and she is set to make her return with a bang.

“It has been a while since I competed in a race and this time, I hope I will run well and am strong after three years out of competition but that has not killed my spirit. Am training more to ensure I get good results,” added Kiprop.

The former Tokyo Marathon champion competed at the Eldoret City marathon in June to gauge her form in preparations for the races ahead.

“I competed at the Eldoret City marathon not for the prize but to gauge my speed and form. I decided not to finish and realized I was fit for bigger races,” said Kiprop.

Commenting on her virtual Boston marathon, she said that the race was not that competitive since she ran alone in the virtual relays.

Kiprop was 7th and 4th at the London and Berlin marathon in 2017 and 2013 respectively, which are part of the world marathon majors.

Ferdinand Omanyala contract terminated by his management

DBA Africa has terminated its contract with the Africa’s fastest man Ferdinand Omurwa Omanyala.

According to a press release dated Monday, September 27, DBA Africa Sports Management said that it has terminated their contract with the sprinter who has attracted global attention.

The company, in its statement, highlighted its pivotal role in enabling the athlete compete in local, continental and international championships including the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games that propelled him to fame.

“We are proud to have played a huge role in enabling him to compete around the continent resulting in attaining four qualifying times for the Tokyo Olympic Games and achieving many national records and personal best,” read part of the statement.

Speaking to on phone, DBA Africa Programs Director Lylle Asiligwa said it terminated its engagement with the athlete owing to different value sets represented by each faction.

We have parted ways with Omanyala. Our parts have become different from Omanyala because we don’t share the same values, and vision,” one of the representatives from DBA Africa stated.

Asiligwa added that the Kenyan sprinter approached them in December 2020 and have worked with him for a good part of the year so far.

Omanyala has not yet responded to the new developments to give his side of the story.

Omanyala in recent weeks has been the talk of the town due to his record-breaking race at the second edition of the Kikeino Classic continental Tour that was held at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani.

Omanyala was beaten by a hundredth of a second by United States Trayvon Bromell who ran the fastest time in 2021 of 9:76 that put him in history books as the sixth fastest track sprinter over the distance.

Kenenisa Bekele: ‘ I am not too old for the marathon”

Ethiopian athlete Kenenisa Bekele has insisted that he has no plans to retire from the sport after finishing third at Sunday’s Berlin Marathon.

Before the race Bekele, who turned 39 in June, had even talked about attacking the marathon word record of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds held by Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge.

He eventually missed Kipchoge’s time by over five minutes, finishing a minute behind race winner and compatriot Guye Adola.

The three-time Olympic champion is now targeting the world record again in next year’s race in the German capital, while also refusing to rule out the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

“I have information from other athletes that even at this age – 40 – many athletes can achieve good results and you are not too old for the marathon,” he said.

“If I’m healthy and prepared, I’d like to run again in Berlin for the world record.”

Bekele explained that his display on Sunday had been affected by catching Covid-19 earlier this year, even if he had suffered no strong symptoms and had recovered well.

He said the issues thrown up by coronavirus in general had made a greater impact.

“For me, the big problem was a lack of training because of the pandemic,” he explained.

One of athletics’ finest long-distance runners, Bekele has surprisingly missed the last two Olympic Games after not being picked by the Ethiopian Athletics Federation.

Bekele and the federation have not seen eye-to-eye on its recent selection process and so has been overlooked for the marathon despite being the second fastest man ever over the distance.

In 2019, Bekele ran a time – in Berlin – just two seconds slower than the record tset by Kipchoge, also in the German capital, the previous year.

“For sure I want to be part of [Paris 2024] but it’s difficult to decide according to the Ethiopian federation,” he explained.

“I have only one country. Even if I want to go to Paris, I don’t know their criteria again so it’s going to be difficult.”


Ferdinard Omanyala targets Usain Bolt world record

Africa fastest man in 100m Ferdinand Omanyala Omurwa has hinted that in one year’s time he will be targeting to lower Usain Bolt world record over the distance.

Omanyala broke the African record that had been set in July this year of 9:84 by South African Akani Simbine when he set a new record of 9.77 at the second edition of the Kip Keino Classic last Saturday (18) at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani.

While Speaking on Citizen TV with Jeff Koinange, Omanyala said that the record will not take him a year to break as his trends has been on gradual growth.

“The difference in time with bolts record time with what I ran at Kip is 0.19 now if you do the math am capable of running 9.56.” Omanyala said.

The 25- year-old also narrated how he wrote to be included in the Diamond League race but his request was turned down by one of the directors.

“There was a time I applied to run in the Diamond League but the email reply from one of the directors said they could not take me as he could not believe a Kenyan would run that fast”

The eighth fastest man on the planet is taking a three weeks rest before he begins his training for the busy new track season in March next year.

Francine Niyonsaba lands Home and brings Bujumbura to a stand still

Hundreds of Burundians turned up at Bujumbura airport on Wednesday to welcome home Francine Niyonsaba after her recent successes overseas. The Burundian athlete won the 5,000 metres Diamond League title in Zurich on 8 September before setting a new 2,000m world record six days later at a meeting in Croatia.

Earlier this year, Niyonsaba, a world and Olympic 800m silver medallist, switched away from her preferred distance after being banned from competing between 400m and 1500m because of naturally high levels of testosterone.

“I did the extraordinary, and I now feel like an extraordinary person in the world,” the 28-year-old told reporters after landing.

“It is the first time that this cup (Diamond League trophy) has come to Burundi and now a Burundian woman is the fastest in the world over 2,000m – it is a blessing for my family and my country.”

Her success came after a disappointing Olympics where she was fifth in the 10,000m and disqualified from the heats of the 5,000m for stepping off the track.

The crowds of people lined the streets despite recent attacks, which have been claimed by rebels, on the airport in the Burundian capital and deadly grenade attacks in the city on Monday.

“I am very happy – it is a blessing to be welcomed by different people,” she said. “It is a joy that I can’t explain also because when I won, I saw all Burundians in the country and abroad celebrating my victory.

“That gives me power and happiness to feel that I managed the extraordinary. I am grateful to all who supported me, the coaches in Burundi and in Kenya where I train. They all played a role in writing this history.”

She promised to work harder to bring home a title from next year’s World Athletics Championship in the United States “to make Burundians happy again.

” Under the latest World Athletics regulations, Niyonsaba is classified as having ‘Differences of Sexual Development’ – or ‘DSD’ – and has been forced to move away from the 800m after refusing to take testosterone-reducing drugs.

Her 2,000m world record of five minutes 21.56 seconds was two seconds faster than the record set by Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba indoors in 2017, while also breaking the outdoor record set by Ireland’s Sonia O’Sullivan in 1994.

Ferdinand Omanyala rewarded a brand new car by Odibets

Kenya’s fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala was Wednesday (22) gifted a brand-new car by Odibets as a reward for breaking the African 100 metres record last weekend at the second edition of the Kip Keino Classic Tour that was held on 18 September 2021 at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed were among the dignitaries alongside other Kenyans who cheered record breaking Omanyala.

During the appreciating ceremony that was held at the New Stanley hotel, Odibets General Manager Dedan Mungai said that the company was proud to associate itself with Omanyala and walking with him in his journey.

“We as a company are proud to associate ourselves with Omanyala who has proved beyond all means that Kenya can conquer the world in the field of athletics, his character, resilience, endurance and performance is aligned with our core values as a company, ” said Dedan Mungai as he handed over the car keys to Omanyala.

Speaking during the event, Omanyala said that he always knew he was destined for greatness and was very greatful to Odibets as they have walked the journey with him supporting him in all that he did.

“Odibets came at the right time when I needed them and It is through them, I was able to focus on my training enabling me to break the African record, ” said an elated Omanyala who had been accompanied by his family for the appreciation ceremony.

In his speech, Omanyala advised his fellow athletes to embrace hard work and never give up on their dreams.

“Hard work, discipline and perseverance are the three main components of success, as I ran the race on Saturday at the Kasarani I did’nt know right now I would be the proud owner of a car,” said Omanyala who could not hide his joy as he received the car from Odibets General Manager Dedan Mungai.

The car’s number plate will bear the number 977 to celebrate his huge record-breaking achievement.

This is Omanyala’s second reward from Odibets as earlier on the betting firm gifted him a financial boost of Sh 1.5 million for qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.


Ian Beattie appointed chair of UK Athletics

Former chair of Scottish Athletics gets top job at UKA as he replaces Nic Coward

Ian Beattie will succeed Nic Coward as chair of UK Athletics. The former chair of Scottish Athletics will begin his role in October and will oversee a governing body which is run by chief executive Jo Coates.

UKA say the search for a successor to Coward was “specifically designed to attract a pool of diverse candidates” and there was speculation that someone from outside of athletics might get the role. But instead it has gone to a man who has a rich history in the sport, in addition to being a chartered accountant and chief operating officer of Lindsays Solicitors.

Beattie is a member and endurance coach of Harmeny Athletics Club in Edinburgh and has previously been a member of Portobello, Strathearn Harriers, Central AC and Troon Tortoises, serving on the committee of most of those clubs.

He is race director of the West Highland Way Race – having completed the ultra running event eight times – and has completed more than 100 marathons and 100 half marathons.

Beattie takes over at a difficult time for the sport, amid reports of disillusionment among a number of Britain’s best known athletes. He said: “I am delighted to have been appointed to the chair position at UK Athletics. It is an exciting time to be taking on the role and I look forward to helping the organisation provide a positive environment for athletes, coaches, officials and everyone else involved in the sport.

“Having previously chaired one of the home country athletics federations, I recognise the importance of all the athletics bodies in the UK working together, with each of us performing our roles to the highest possible standard.

“My vision is for athletics to be a sport where everyone pulls in the same direction and feels proud to be part of the athletics family in the UK. It is encouraging that the structures are now in place to allow that to happen, and I look forward to helping UKA play its part in achieving this in the years ahead.”


Eliud Kipchoge’s movie premiere in Kenya

Two times Olympics marathoner Eliud Kipchoge yesterday (Tuesday 21) released his premiered movie in Kenya titled, “ Kipchoge: The Last Milestone.” 

The movie released by US film company Ridley Scott Creative Group, captures the detailed preparations that were made for his race at the INEOS 1:59.40 in Vienna where he became the first human being to run a marathon in under two hours.

The Movie premier was done at the official residence of the United Kingdom Ambassador’s residence in Nairobi

Although his record of 1:59:40 was not recognised as an official marathon record, it was nevertheless celebrated as a historic moment in the history of mankind.

The film documents Kipchoge’s human qualities of discipline, determination, and teamwork that have helped him become a global force in the field of athletics.

Eliud Kipchoge making his remarks during the Movie Premier. Photo: Jane Marriott

The UK ambassador to Kenya, Jane Marriott was full of praise of Kipchoge’s achievement and life goals.

“Eliud continues to prove that #NoHumanIsLimited – working tirelessly to advocate for education and climate change. And the Flag of United Kingdom will continue to stand with him every step of the way!” Said Marriot.

The Movie is directed by Jack Scott – son of legendary film director Ridley Scott whose projects include the Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, etc.

The movie’s first release was in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Mary Keitany retires from running

World record holder and seven-time World Marathon Majors winner Mary Keitany has hanged her running shoes.

Keitany announced her retirement on Wednesday (22) after a stellar career which saw her win the London Marathon on three occasions and the New York Marathon four times, as well as triumph at the 2009 World Half Marathon Championships.

The 39 years-old, also still holds the marathon world record for a women-only race, having clocked a stunning 2:17.01 when winning the third of her Virgin Money London Marathon titles in 2017.

Keitany’s spoke through her management, Demadonna Athletic Promotions, “However, I’m sad to say, a back injury that I suffered in late 2019 made a decision about my retirement for me. I couldn’t get the treatment I wanted in Europe because of the pandemic-related travel restrictions last year and every time I thought I had got over the injury and started training hard, it became a problem again. So now is the time to say goodbye – if only as an elite runner – to the sport I love so much.”

Keitany first came to global attention in 2007, after local success in Kenya the previous year, with a series of good performances in European half marathons which then earned her a place in the Kenyan team at that year’s World Half Marathon Championships.

Keitany won the 2009 world half marathon title in Birmingham, England, by over a minute in 1:06:36, at the time the second fastest mark ever on a record-legal course and an African record. She also led Kenya to the team gold medals.

After finishing third in New York on her marathon debut in 2010, her first major marathon win came in her next race over the classic distance when she triumphed in the 2011 Virgin Money London Marathon and further victories in the British capital came in 2012 and 2017.

She will also be remembered fondly for her three impressive consecutive wins in the New York Marathon between 2014 and 2016 before winning in the Big Apple again in 2018.

“As for the future, I haven’t fully decided on my plans but I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family. My children are currently 13 and eight. In addition, I am involved with some local charitable enterprises,” said Keitany, who added that she still intends to pay close attention to what is happening in the world of distance running.

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