Kenya’s Valary Jemeli Aiyabei lived to the expectations of the race organisers when she made history the 39th edition of the Beijing Marathon as the first Kenyan woman to win this race that was held on Sunday (16) in Beijing, China.
After passing the 20km mark, she once again tried to break from Bahrain’s Eunice Chebichi Chumba, but the latter held on running hand in hand.
The 27 year-old came to this race as the fastest entrant and the only Kenyan in the elite women’s field. When the group reached the 15km mark she decided to break away and kept pushing ahead cut the tape in 2:21.38, ending a four-year winning run by Ethiopian runners.
“This is my first time running the Beijing Marathon,” said the 27-year-old, who came on her shoulder with a personal best of 2:20.53 that she got in 2017 at Berlin Marathon.
“The race today was good and the weather was good. Everything was good. I want to say thanks to my pacemaker and my husband, he did the best job. I am very happy.”
The 25-year-old Chumba, who finished fourth- at the 2018 World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia and who recently took silver at the Asian Games in Jakarta last month, crossed the line in second place five minutes later.
Ethiopia’s Fatuma Sado who won the 2014 edition closed the podium three finishes in 2:24.16.
- Valary Aiyabei (KEN) 2:21.38
- Eunice Chumba (BRN) 2:26.56
- Fatuma Sado ( ETH) 2:24.16