Tag Archives: Agnes Barsosio

RIONOTUKEI AND BEKELE FACE TOUGH TASK IN DEFENCE OF TAIYUAN TITLES

Chemtai Rionotukei and Azmeraw Bekele will defend their titles at the Taiyuan Marathon, but they will face competitive fields at the IAAF Silver Label road race on Saturday (8).

Rionotukei broke the course record last year with 2:29:36, coming within three minutes of the PB she had set earlier in the year. The 32-year-old Kenyan hasn’t shown quite the same kind of form this year, though, placing second in Taipei and sixth in Dongying, both times finishing just shy of 2:35.

Five of the women in the field have quicker PBs than Rionotukei. Sarah Chepchirchir is the fastest of those, having set a lifetime best of 2:19:47 to win last year’s Tokyo Marathon. The 34-year-old Kenyan’s form this year is untested, though, as she hasn’t raced since winning the Lisbon Marathon in 2:27:57 last October.

Agnes Barsosio recorded a PB of 2:20:59 when finishing second in Paris last year. Her best this year, 2:27:46, was set when finishing third in Gold Coast in July.

Rael Kiyara is a 2:25:23 performer at her best, but that mark dates back to 2011. Her season’s best of 2:31:06 came when placing fourth in Dongying, while last year her best was 2:26:22, set when winning in Chongqing. Chinese marathons are clearly to her liking.

Flomena Chepchirchir Chumba is another strong Kenyan heading to Taiyuan. Her 2:23:00 PB was set in Frankfurt in 2013 and this year she finished sixth in Prague in 2:32:10.

Ethiopia’s Meskerem Abera Hunde and Meseret Mengistu will be aiming to break up the Kenyan dominance in Taiyuan. Hunde set a PB of 2:28:35 to win this year’s Wuhan Marathon, while 2015 Paris Marathon winner Mengistu, a 2:23:26 performer at her best, clocked 2:30:15 to finish third in Xiamen earlier this year.

A small number of elite women will be making their marathon debut in Taiyuan. Of those, China’s Zhang Deshun appears to have the most potential. She set a PB of 1:11:28 at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships Valencia 2018 and more recently took bronze over 10,000m at the Asian Games in a PB of 32:12.78.

Bekele won by just four seconds in Taiyuan last year, clocking 2:12:49. The Ethiopian, who has a PB of 2:07:12 from the 2014 Dubai Marathon, went on to win the Hangzhou Marathon two months later in 2:10:33 but hasn’t raced since then.

Just two men in the field have faster PBs than the defending champion, but neither of those – 2:06:49 performer Sylvester Kimeli Teimet of Kenya and 2:07:10 runner Tebalu Zawude of Ethiopia – have shown that kind of form this year.

Teimet, however, clocked a best of 2:11:00 last year, while Zawude had a 2017 season’s best of 2:11:50. If they bring that form to Taiyuan, it could be enough for a podium finish.

Ezekiel Kemboi Omullo could be the man to beat on Saturday. The Kenyan clocked a season’s best of 2:11:17 to win the Warsaw Marathon earlier this year, just two minutes and 22 seconds shy of the PB he set when winning the same race in 2016.

Evans Sambu has a season’s best of 2:17:39, but it was set in Dongying where he finished ahead of several other athletes heading to Taiyuan. His PB of 2:09:05 was set just last year and he finished third in Taiyuan 12 months ago, so will be familiar with the course.

Compatriot Mark Lokwanamoi finished behind Sambu in Dongying but has a slightly faster PB, 2:08:37 set in Dubai last year. Joseph Kachapin Aperumoi’s PB, also set last year, is even quicker at 2:08:26.

Ethiopia’s Samuel Getachew Demie is the only other man in the field with a season’s best quicker than 2:15. His lifetime best of 2:09:44 was set in Rabat last year.

Given that no one in the field has run faster than 2:11 this year, it’s unlikely – but not impossible – that Berhanu Shiferaw’s course record of 2:08:51 from 2012 will be broken.

Jebitok smashes the Gold Coast Women Marathon course record

Kenya’s Ruth Jebitok smashed the course record at the 40th edition of the Gold Coast Marathon that was held on Sunday (1) in Gold Coast, Australia.

The 2018 Barcelona Marathon winner, Chebitok battled for honors with the race favorite Agnes Barsosio and Jessica Trengove of Australia.

Despite the extremely high humidity, Chebitok kept the race moving just under 2:25 pace the entire way, at times talking to the male pacers to get them to stay on track. The lead group paced the half way mark in 1:12.15.

Chebitok slowed at the same point in the women’s race at 35km, but by that point she had the win in her keeping, with a margin of 1:26 to Trengove who, in turn, was almost 50 seconds ahead.

The 27 year-old held on and went ahead to smash the course record and also a personal best cutting the tape in new course record of 2:24.49 erasing the last year’s edition course record of 2:25.34 that was set by Ethiopia Abebech Bekele.

Trengove took second place beating Barsosio to third when she crossed the line in a personal best of 2:26.31 with the later closing the podium three place in 2:27.46.

Japanese Miharu Shimokado took fourth while Australia’s Celia Sullohern fifth in 2:29.38 and 2:30.19 respectively.

LEADING RESULTS
WOMEN

  1. Ruth Chebitok        (KEN)  2:24.49
  2. Jessica Trengove     (AUS)  2:26.31
  3. Agnes Barsosio        (KEN)  2:27.46
  4. Miharu Shimokado (JPN) 2:29.38
  5. Celia Sullohern        (AUS) 2:30.19

Out of the freezer, Into the frying Pan for Kawauchi at Gold Coast Marathon

A couple of months ago, as marathoners in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games marathons battled sweltering conditions, Yuki Kawauchi ran to his first World Marathon Majors victory in Boston in wet, windy and freezing conditions.

This Sunday (1 July), Kawauchi is likely to face the rain again as he competes in the 40th edition of the Gold Coast marathon, an IAAF Gold Label event. But where runners experienced biting winds and slippery roads in Boston, mild and relatively still weather is forecast for race morning. It will be warm – with the temperature tipped to rise to just over 20C – but nothing like as hot as the Commonwealth marathoners experienced.

Kawauchi will be competing in his seventh straight Gold Coast marathon and chasing his second victory. His only win came in 2013, but he has three more podium finishes and has never finished outside the top eight.

Kawauchi will need to be on his A-game, however, as two other recent winners are in this year’s line-up – last year’s victor, Takuya Noguchi and race record holder and two-time winner Kenneth Mungara. Actually, there are at least five former winners starting in this 40th edition of the race – Eric Sigmont, winner of the inaugural race in 1979, and 1990 Commonwealth Games 5000 metres champion Andrew Lloyd, who won in 1980, are also in the field.

Takuya Noguchi prevails at the 2017 Gold Coast Marathon (organisers) © Copyright

 The women’s Gold Coast race offers the possibility of a home victory with two of Australia’s best distance performers at the Gold Coast Games among the chances. Jess Trengove was bronze medallist in the marathon and Celia Sullohern challenged for the medals in the 5000 and 10,000 metres. It probably reflects a pleasing internationalization of the race, but no Australian has won since Lauren Shelley took the women’s race in 2009 and no male Australian since Lee Troop in 2006.

Trengove has a best time of 2:27:01 in London last year and followed that up with ninth place in the London 2017 world championships. Sullohern finished sixth in last year’s Gold Coast race, slashing 20 minutes off her only previous performance, and then ran 2:29:27 to win the Melbourne marathon last November.

Abebech Afework, who set a race record 2:25:34 last year, is not back to defend her title. Fastest woman in the field is Agnes Barsosio (also known as Agnes Jeruto Kiprotich) with a 2:20:59 in Paris last year. Her recent form is solid, albeit less impressive, with a 1:11:00 half-marathon in Gothenburg in May. Ruth Jebitok, with a 2:25:49 from Barcelona this year, may stand a better chance of registering the first Kenyan women’s victory on the Gold Coast.

The Gold Coast race has been supported by many top Japanese runners over its history. The prodigious Kawauchi may be the highest-profile Japanese runner, but it is the women who have notched more race victories. Afework’s win in 2017 broke a run of five consecutive Japanese wins. Fastest Japanese entrant this year is Ayaka Fuijimoto (2:27:08 in Tokyo last year), followed by Miharu Shimokado (2:27:54 in Nagoya last year) and Mae Uesugi (2:31:49 in this year’s Tokyo race).

 Turning to the men’s race, the 44-year-old Mungara may feel the Gold Coast owes him a change of luck. He won in 2015 and 2016, the former in the race record and world 40-plus record of 2:08:42, and was thwarted in his bid for a hat-trick when Noguchi beat him narrowly last year in 2:08:59. Helped, no doubt, by his Gold Coast experience, he was selected for Kenya’s Commonwealth Games team but was one of those who wilted in the heat, finishing 10th in 2:25:42. His only other marathon for this year was a 2:13 in Hong Kong in January.

Fastest man on paper is Philip Sanga Kimutai, whose best of 2:06:07 dates back to 2011. He ran under 2:07 in each of the following two years and, while not as fast since, has run 2:10:07 or faster in three of the past four years. If time is passing him by, it is in no hurry.

Douglas Chebii and Michael Githae also will bear close watching. Chebii ran 2:08:43 earlier this year in Seville and Githae 2:09:21 in Lake Biwa. At 24 and 23, respectively, both are approaching their prime racing years.

Both the marathon and associated half-marathon are Oceania area championship races.

Trengove and Sullohern stand out as the top two contenders for the women’s marathon title with a big edge on times over any other entrant. The men’s race is a lot more open. Last year’s winner, Dave Ridley of New Zealand, is defending his title, but fastest Oceania man in the field is 40-year-old David Criniti of Australia (2:17:57), followed by London 2017 representative Jack Colreavy (2:18:32).

Collis Birmingham, Liam Adams and Dejen Gebreselassie should fight out the men’s half-marathon championship, though Jack Rayner is capable of a fast time based on his performances at shorter road distances.

Last year’s winner, Sara Hall, is back. As an American, Hall is not eligible for the Oceania title, nor is the other sub-1:10 entrant, Japan’s Hanae Tanaka. Laura Thweatt of the US, Sinead Diver and Ellie Pashley are next fastest, with the latter pair looking to have the Oceania title between them,