Kenya’s Stephen Kiprop took top honors at the 9th edition of the Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon that was held on Saturday (23) in Olomouc, Czech Republic.
The 19 year-old who came to this race with a personal best of 59:44, beat a strong and experienced field that included Jemal Yimer, who was second in Ras Al-Khaimah in United Arab Emirates in February in a time of 59:00 which was the fastest of four sub-60 runners in the men’s field.
He also had to contend with Kenyans Gilbert Masai (59:31), Justus Kangogo (59:31), and Abel Kipchumba (60:05).
With less experience against the best Kiprop pulled away late in the race to build a strong gap that could not be matched with rest, smashing off the course record of 1:00.17 that was set in 2014 by Geoffrey Ronoh, with a new course record of 1:00.15.
“The wind wasn’t 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.”
Kiprop was followed closely by Ethiopian
Kiprop was followed closely by Ethiopian Yimer who crossed the line twenty two seconds later and Kipchumba closing the podium three finishes in 1:00.57.
Cheruiyot and Kangongo had to settle on fourth and fifth place in 1:01.00 and 1:01.34 respectively.
- Stephen Kiprop (KEN) 1:00.15
- Jemal Yimer (ETH) 1:00.37
- Abel Kipchumba (KEN) 1:00.57
- Evans Cheruiyot (KEN) 1:01.00
- Justus Kangogo (KEN) 1:01.34