Bekele Big Debut on Marathon Sunday! by Alfons Juck, EME NEWS

Kenenisa Bekele, interviewed after his Paris victory, 
photo courtesy of [email protected]

PARIS (FRA, Apr 6): Kenenisa Bekele debuted in marathon at the 38th Schneider Electric Paris Marathon with new course record 2:05:03. It is also second fastest time 2014, French all-comers record and 6th fastest debut on a standard course. "This was my first marathon and it's really hard. But I did the time I expected. After 25 km, I was alone and it became very difficult. I had little cramps that have complicated my job," said Bekele for L´Équipe. It was also faster debut than Haile Gebrselassie or Paul Tergat. Half time split was 1:02:09. Second Limenih Getachew of Ethiopia in life-time best 2:06:48 and more personal bests for Kenyans who followed: Luka Kanda 2:07:59, Robert Kwambai 2:08:46 and Jackson Limo 2:09:03. Top European was French Ahmed Ezzobayry as 10th in 2:15:34. Kenyan Flomena Cheyech also achieved life-time best as top woman in 2:22:41 ahead of Ethiopian Yebrgual Melese who improved to 2:26:18. Last and third under 2:30 was Ahmed Zemzem 2:29:34. Martha Komu as top French 6th 2:36:31 and debut for Laurane Picoche 2:39:20 as 8th.

DAEGU (KOR, Apr 6): Ethiopia dominated the 2014 IAAF Silver Label Marathon on Sunday morning in Daegu, the host of the 2011 IAAF World Championships. Favorite Yemane Tsegay ran his fastest marathon in two years and broke the course record in 2:06:50 (former course record 2:07:57 by David Kiyeng) by more than one minute. The race was started at 8 am in chilly and windy conditions making the 2 degrees feel even colder for the runners. That did not stop the thousand of fans alongside the course to create an incredible athmosphere. „I have prepared for that race for more than three months," Tsegay told after the race. Second his teammate Gebretsadik Abraha in 2:07:00 ahead of Kenya's Nickson Kurgat (2:07:17). Remarkable personal best of the fifth finisher Jacob Kibet who improved from previous 2:11:18 down to 2:07:54 behind Elijah Kemboi 2:07:43. First and second for Ethiopia also in the women race. Last years runner-up Mulu Seboka was more than 2 minutes faster than Meseret Legese winning comfortably in 2:25:23. Legese was following Seboka over 35km within 30 seconds but then suffered from back pain and had to speed down to be able to finish the race. Her 2:28:07 was still over one minute ahead of third place finisher Judith Lavado Toribio from Peru (2:29:52) who improved her personal best by more than 4 minutes. Korea and Peru started a cooperation in the marathon where a Korean coach is responsible for their long distance program. More than 10 athletes from Peru were competing in Daegu.


ZURICH (SUI, Apr 6): Triathlon Olympic winner Nicola Spirig fulfilled the European standard at Zurich Marathon with 2:42:52. She was with that time overall 7th and second within Swiss Championships. The overall win went to German Mona Stockhecke 2:34:03 ahead of Jida Bekele of Ethiopia 2:35:59 and Turkish Ummu Kiraz 2:36:45. Swiss champion as fifth Ursula Spielmann-Jeitziner 2:41:55. Male winner Hayle Berhanu from Ethiopia 2:10:39 as title defender Abraham Tadesse gave up after 30 km. Second Kenyan Edwin Korir 2:11:01 and third Samson Kagia 2:11:11. Best European Russian Stepan Kiselev with 2:11:28 as fifth in debut at the distance. It is also European leading time 2014. Swiss champion Patrick Wieser as 15th in 2:18:14.

MILANO (ITA, Apr 6): SuisseGas Milano Marathon had Kenyan winners Francis Kiprop in good 2:08:53 and Visiline Jepkesho in debut 2:28:40. Second Stephen Tum 2:10:41 and third Gebre Kibrom from Eritrea 2:11:12. Top European Ukrainian Ihor Olefirenko was fourth in 2:13:10. In women category second Monica Jepkoech 2:34:49 and third Megertu Tafa from Ethiopia 2:35:41. Italian Champions sixth Danilo Goffi 2:17:20 and veteran Claudia Gelsomino (category 45+) in 2:51:22 as 6th.

THESSALONIKI (GRE, Apr 6): In rainy conditions Kenyan Victor Kiprono Kimeli was the winner of 9th Marathon Alexander the Great here with 2:21:14. In women category Greek winner Magdalini Gazea in 2:47:04.

BRATISLAVA (SVK, Apr 6): The 9th CSOB Bratislava Marathon had record participation in all races over two days with more than 8300 runners. On Sunday in main races two course records were broken. In men marathon in big solo Kenyan Joel Mwangi 2:18:22 PB with former course record holder and title defender Isaac Chesiny well behind second 2:27:55. Another event best in fast men half marathon where top 3 Kenyans dipped under the former mark. Edwin Kipkorir 1:03:10 over Dickson Kurui 1:03:17 and Robert Kirui 1:03:19. Women winner Alice Kibor in 2:42:55 missed the course record only by 14 seconds, second Hungarian Tunde Szabo improved to 2:44:37. Hungarian star Aniko Kalovics won the women half marathon in 1:17:28. Slovak half titles for overall fourth placers Jozef Urban 1:07:23 and Adriana Vitkova 1:21:50.

LINZ (AUT, Apr 6): Kenyan Laban Mutai won the 13th Linz Marathon in 2:08:03 and organisers also registered new participation of 18 000 runners. Mutai missed the course record only by 30 seconds. Second Kipsang Kipkempoi 2:09:46 and third Patrick Cheruiyot 2:13:54. Top woman ad 6th overall Lydia Rutto 2:34:19 ahead of Ukrainian Natalya Lehonkova 2:34:58. Top Austrian as fourth Cornelia Kopper in 2:44:16.

DEBNO (POR, Apr 6): Cosmas Kyeva returning from doping ban won the 41st Debno Marathon in new personal best 2:09:57. Ukrainians as 2nd and third were well behind, Mykola Iukhymchuk 2:16:50 and Mihalo Iveruk 2:19:07. In women category 33rd Polish Championships for Arleta Meloch 2:43:02.

BONN (GER, Apr 6): Ethiopian wins at the 14th Deutsche Post Bonn Marathon. Gonfa Bonsa 2:18:44 and Mamo Adanech 2:45:10.

BRIGHTON (GBR, Apr 6): For the fifth year running, there was a course record in Brighton as William Chebor smashed the previous best with a fine run of 2:09:25. That was well over a minute inside the 2013 time of 2:10:46. The time could well have been faster had the winner not stopped to tie his shoelace at the seven mile mark. Second Dominic Kangor 2:09:36 PB. In third place and completing the Kenyan podium with a time of 2:12:17 was Wilfred Murgor. For the women it was a different story. For the first time in five years they were unable to emulate the men with a course record, but there was certainly a personal best for Alice Milgo by over a minute and a half as she breasted the tape in 2:35:33 held by celebrity invite, world record holder Paula Radcliffe. Runner up was Ethiopia's Selam Abere in 2:36:37 while Britain's Rebecca Robinson crossed the line third with 2:37:41. The day started with the inaugural 10 km won by by Olympian Nick McCormick in 29:11, women title for Alyson Dixon in 32:35. From organizers website.

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