All posts by John Vaselyne

John Vaselyne is the founder of Athletics News. Africa’s only Independent Athletics News website. He has covered World U20 Championships, World Cross Country Championships in Uganda and World U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya. He has passion for the Sport and has over six years experience in this area of sport. He is also the Leading Athletics Pundit in the Country, having been hosted in ALL leading TV stations in Kenya.

Daniel Simiu runs a personal best as he wins the Nakuru City Half Marathon

The 2021 Cape Town 12k Cityrun champion, Daniel Simiu Ebenyo was on another leveled as he ran a personal best at home at the inaugural Nakuru City Half Marathon that was held on Sunday (28) in Nakuru Cty.

The 26 years old who a fortnight ago was in South Africa took on Geoffrey Kipchumba head on as they battled for honors.

The Iten based runner was too superior as he gave his final kick to out sprint his rival cutting the tape in 59:03 with Kipchumba coming home in second in 59:42.

Felix Kibitok closed the first three podium finishes in 1:00.01.

Waweru Stron and Vincent Ngetich finished in fourth and fifth place as they both shared the same time of 1:00.19.

The 2019 Stanchart Marathon 21km winner pocketed Ksh 500,000.



  1. Daniel Simiu Ebenyo    59:03
  2. Geoffrey Kipchumba     59:42
  3. Felix Kibitok                    61:01

Tsehay Maru defeats Mercy Kwambai at Firenze Marathon

Ethiopia’s Tsehay Alemu Maru ran away with title in a fiercely fought battle at the 37th edition of the Firenze Marathon that was held on Sunday (28) in Firenze, Italy.

Maru fought off her fellow country-mate Megertu Ifa Geletu and Mercy Jerop Kwambai who took it almost to the finish but she managed to give a kick of her lifetime cutting the tape in 2:27.17 with Geletu crossing the line four seconds later.

Kwambai was forced to settle in third place as she came home in a time of 2:17.32.

Souad Kanbouchia from Morocco and Obse Abdeta deme from Ethiopia came home in fourth and fifth place in 2:27.49 and 2:28.21 respctively.

The race course record of 2:24.17 that was set in 2018 by Kenyan born now trading for Israel Lonah Salpeter remained intact.



  1. Tsehay Alemu Maru     (ETH) 2:27.17
  2. Megertu Ifa Geletu        (ETH) 2:27.21
  3. Mercy Jerop Kwambai  (KEN) 2:27.32
  4. Souad Kanbouchia        (MOR)2:27.49
  5. Obse Abdeta deme        (ETH) 2:28.21


Celestine Chepchirchir destroys Marathon de La Rochelle course record

Kenya’s Celestine Chepchirchir destroyed the race course record at the 30th edition of the Marathon de La Rochelle that was held on Sunday (28) in Rochelle, France.

Chepchirchir broke away away from the leading group at the 38km mark and never looked as she pushed herself from her stiff competitor Aberash Fayesa from Ethiopia.

The Kenyan had focused on the course record of 2:28.24 that had been set in 2010 by Ethiopian running legend Goitetom Haftu, she cut off almost five minutes destroying the old record and writing her name in the history books of this as she cut the tape in a new course record an personal best of 2:23.32.

Fayesa came home second running under the old record when she crossed the line in 2:25.32.  Judith Jerubeth also from Kenya closed the first three podium finishes in 2:26.43.

Ukraine’s Yevheniya Prokofyeva and Winny Jepkorir from Kenya finished in fourth and fifth place in 2:31.23 and 2:35.18 respectively.



  1. Celestine Chepchirchir   (KEN) 2:23.32
  2. Aberash Fayesa                 (KEN) 2:25.32
  3. Judith Jerubeth                  (ETH) 2:26.43
  4. Yevheniya Prokofyeva      (UKR) 2:31.23
  5. Winny Jepkorir                   (KEN) 2:35.18

UK Sport change maternity policy to pay elite athletes

UK Sport have committed to supporting mothers in sport with a “more overt approach”, including new maternity guidance and guaranteed funding for elite athletes up to nine months postpartum.

Last year a Telegraph Sport investigation found that, while UK Sport encouraged individual sporting governing bodies to have maternity policies in place, it had left it up to them to determine the details, causing confusion and potential funding losses for athletes.

But on Tuesday, UK Sport are set to publish updated guidance for pregnant athletes and the sports they oversee, and also revealed to Telegraph Sport they have now implemented a sports-wide maternity pay policy, which guarantees elite athletes full funding throughout their pregnancy and up to nine months after giving birth.

The policy applies to those who are on Athlete Performance Agreements (APAs), who receive National Lottery-funded grants, and are therefore ineligible for statutory maternity pay that standard employees enjoy.

As well as the guaranteed continuation of funding, which was introduced in April, the new guidance gives advice to athletes about how and when to share their pregnancy with their sport, advises the sport on next steps, provides frameworks for training pre and postpartum as well as extensive resources for pregnant athletes.

“At UK Sport, we really strongly believe that starting a family and being an elite athlete shouldn’t be mutually exclusive,” CEO Sally Munday told Telegraph Sport in an exclusive interview. “We’re taking a much more overt approach to this. What we want through this new guidance is to ensure that female athletes and sports have got the right resources at their disposal so that mothers and mothers-to-be are confident they’ll be fully supported. That’s the real driver.”

Through an 18-month consultation, which included gathering expertise from athletes, sports, medical professionals and charities, UK Sport found that pregnancy must be treated differently according to the safety of the sport and the individual’s unique experience, and so avoided making the guidance “one-size-fits-all”.

The framework did propose specific timeframes though, including that athletes must “signal their intent” within six months of giving birth regarding their plans to return to pre-pregnancy levels of training. At nine months, athlete potential will be assessed and confirmed to UK Sport, in order for them to continue accessing their funding, but this timeframe could be reconsidered if an athlete were to experience complications during their pregnancy or childbirth.

Five-time Olympic archer Naomi Folkard knows the obstacles for new mothers in elite sport, as she was forced to pump and freeze 80 bottles of breast milk ahead of flying to Tokyo, when the IOC did not permit her to travel with her five-month-old daughter due to Covid restrictions. She was one of the athletes who contributed to UK Sport’s consultation and said the new guidance is potentially life-changing.

“I think if this was in place 20 years ago and [sport] was a safe place to talk about pregnancy, I may well have chosen to have a baby a lot earlier in my career,” Folkard said. “In my early 20s I felt like having a baby and being an athlete wasn’t possible. I’ve now had a baby and I’ve competed in Tokyo when she was five months old, and I realised that it is totally possible. I could have made very different choices earlier on in my career.”

Munday agreed making motherhood an open conversation in elite sport, rather than a taboo, is UK Sport’s key aim: “We want to make sure that female athletes can talk about starting a family in the same way they talk about what they might want to study alongside being an athlete or what they want to do as a career post being an athlete. It’s been driven by our ambition for our community to be world-leading in this space.”

UK Sport also said it planned to provide further guidance specifically on surrogacy, egg-freezing, adoption, IVF and same-sex parents.


Kipchoge, Cheptegei sail to the World Male Athlete of the Year Award Finals

Two times Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge and Olympic 5000m champion Joshua Cheptegei have sailed through to the finals of the World Athletics’ Male Athlete of the Year award that will be held on December 1.

Kipchoge became the first man since 1980 to successfully defend his Olympic marathon title, and his time of 2 hours 8min 38sec gave him a winning margin of 80 seconds – the biggest at the Games since 1972.

Sweden’s Mondo Duplantis still has a chance at winning the award for the second year running. He achieved Olympic, Diamond League and European indoor titles in the pole vault. Karsten Warholm from Norway is the other finalist, having twice broken the 400m hurdles world record set by American Kevin Young that had stood for more than 28 years.

Also on the battle for the prestigious award is the undefeated American shot putter Ryan Crouser.

The shocker of the night is Norway’s Tokyo 2020 and European Indoor 1500m gold medallist Jakob Ingebrigtsen who failed to make the cut for not gaining enough votes.

World Athletics revealed last month the initial shortlist of 10 Olympic champions last month, and a three-way voting process reduced the number to half.

The World Athletics Council’s votes are 50 per cent of the result, with the World Athletics Family and public votes both holding 25 per cent.

Jesca Chelangat wins the Cape Town 12KM City Run

Kenya’s Jesca Chelangat took the top honors at the sixth edition of the CAPE TOWN 12K CITYRUN that was held on Sunday (21) in Cape Town, South Africa.

From the gun it was a group of six that took the lead, including Chelangat, compatriot, Diana Chesang, Lesotho’s Neheng Khatala, Irvette van Zyl, Glenrose Xaba and Kesa Molotsane.

Chelangat waited until the final 2km before making her decisive move for victory as she surged and never looked back cutting the tape in a time of 40:01.

“I was confident of the win, I knew I was in great shape after running 32:18 for 10km in Kapsowar, so I was confident I could take the title.” said Chelangat.

She was followed by Khatala who came home fourteen seconds later with Chesang closing the first three podium finishes in 40:25.

Glenrose Xaba was the first South African to cross the line in fourth place a time of 40:59 taking 90 seconds off her previous best 12km time.



  1. Jesca Chelangat      (KEN) 40:01
  2. Neheng Khatala      (LES)  40:15
  3. Diana Chesang        (KEN) 40:25
  4. Glenrose Xaba         (SA )   40:59

Daniel Simiu runs away with Cape Town 12KM City Run title

Kenya’s Daniel Simiu Ebenyo  ran away with the top honors at the sixth edition of the CAPE TOWN 12K CITYRUN that was held on Sunday (21) in Cape Town, South Africa.

Simiu went to Cape Town with only one goal in mind, and that was to break the race course record of 33:27 that was set in 2017 by Morris Munene Gachaga from Kenya.

Simiu went with two pacemakers to help him break the Best time. The target was 32:20 which meant a pace of 2:42/km and splits of 13:13 and 27:00 for 5km and 10km respectively.

But while the wind put paid to any record attempt, it did not dampen Ebenyo’s desire for victory. As early as the 3km mark, Ebenyo had dropped his pacemakers, a field which included the defending champion, Morris Gachaga, SA 10km Champion, Precious Mashele and arguably the best road runner in South Africa at present, Stephen Mokoka.

3km was passed in 8:45 and Ebenyo went through 5km in 14:11, some 30 odd seconds ahead of a group that consisted of Mokoka, pacemakers, Meshack Kiptoo Lelgut, Mashele, Melikhaya Frans, Sibusiso Nzima and Collen Mulaudzi who all covered 5km in 14:40.

The 26 years-old who has never lost a 10km race in his career and who boasts a best time of 27:12 for the 10km distance, led a 1-2 Kenyan podium finish as he cut the tape in a time of 34:01.

“I am used to running alone,” Simiu said, “and was not concerned about having to race all alone. Not even the wind at the beginning was a problem for me.”

He was followed by Isaac Kipkemboi who was embroiled in in a battle with the Mokoka in the final 1km down but managed to give a powerful kick to cross the line in 34:42 with South Africa’s finest closing the first three podium finishes in 34:45.

Meshack Lelgut from Kenya and Anthony Timoteus from South Africa finished in fourth and fifth place in 34:57 and 35:06 respectively.



  1. Daniel Simiu           (KEN) 34:01
  2. Isaac Kipkemboi     (KEN) 34:42
  3. Stephen Mokoka     (SA)    34:45
  4. Meshack Lelgut      (KEN) 34:57
  5. Anthony Timoteus  (SA)  35:06

Jeruto beats Chelimo to lift Cross Internacional de Itálica title

Kenyan born turned Kazakhstan international, Norah Jeruto took the top honors at Cross Internacional de Itálica which is a World Athletics Cross Country Tour which is the fifth Gold meeting of the season that was held on Sunday (21) in Santiponce, Italy.

Jeruto who finished in fourth-place at the Cross de Atapuerca took command of the race at the finishing point to out sprint Margaret Kipkemboi Chelimo from Kenya cutting the tape in 24:22 with Chelimo coming home a second later.

Betrice Chebet closed the first three podium finishes in 24:35.

Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi, who finished sixth in the 5,000m at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, crossed the line in fourth while Ghebreneyohannes Rahel from Eritrea came home in fifth in 24:38 and 24:58 respectively.


  1. Norah Tanui Jeruto                    (KEN) 24:22
  2. Margaret Kipkemboi Chelimo  (KEN) 24:23
  3. Beatrice CHEBET                         (KEN) 24:35
  4. Senbere Teferi                              (ETH) 24:38
  5. Ghebreneyohannes Rahel           (ETI) 24:58

Jacob Kiplimo smashes the World Half Marathon Record

Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo shaved one second off the world half-marathon record at the Lisbon Half Marathon that was held on Sunday (21) in Lisbon, Portugal.

The 2019 World Cross Country Champion 57:31 to smash the previous record of 57:32 that was set by Kenyan Kibiwott Kandie in 2020.

The 21-year-old eased up with no challengers in sight, winning the race by more than two minutes with Ethiopia’s Esa Huseyidin Mohamed second in 59:39.

World’s fastest man of 2021 targets the course record at Abu Dhabi Marathon

Kenya’s Titus Ekiru, the world fastest man in 2021 will headline the third edition of the Abu Dhabi Marathon that will be held on 26, November in Abu dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The 29 years-old is currently ranked as the world’s fifth fastest man marathon history, carries a personal best of 2:02.57 that he got early this year at the Milano City Marathon.

His career highlights include 2019 Honolulu Marathon, 2018 Mexico City Marathon and 2017 Seville Marathon.

The Abu Dhabi Marathon whicha has been labeled as a Bronze Label race will see eight additional elite athletes vying for the top spot.

The stellar line-up of runners includes some of the world’s top-ranking athletes like Reuben Kiprop Kipyego, Abel Kirui, Barnabas Kiptum, Philemon Rono, Eunice Chumba, Betelhem Moges, Vivian Kiplagat and Alemu Megertu.

The race organisers have put together this team of elite athletes to go after both race course record.

The total prize fund for the 2021 Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon is worth $303,000 (Dhs1.11 million) and will be shared across the various categories, with both elite male and female marathon winners taking home $50,000 (Dhs183,500) each.

A bonus cash of $30,000 is also being awarded, should they break the current course records of 2:04.40 and 2:21.01 for the male and female races respectively.