Merga, Keitany reign supreme

Merga, Keitany reign supreme

Merga, Keitany reign supreme

It was never an easy task for Merga, who clocked 59:54 minutes to cover the stipulated 21.097 km, as compatriot Eshetu Wendimu and last year’s runner-up Wilson Kipsang of Kenya chased him closely throughout the race.

Wendimu (1.00.02) finished second, followed by Kipsang (1.00.04), who came nowhere near his last year’s performance owing to a toe injury.
“Although I am happy to retain the title, I am not satisfied with my performance. I tried to push from beginning of the race but then slowed down a bit to the end,” Merga said after the race. The Ethiopian registered his personal best timing of 59.15 minutes at the event last year.

Keitany, who won the World Half Marathon Championship in England recently, took one hour 6.54 minutes to touch the finish line bettering the previous record of 68.17 minutes.
Ethiopian Ayelew Wude (1.07:58) came in second, followed by compatriot Aberu Kebede (1.07:59). “It was a good performance on a flat track. I slowed down after 15km but later recovered well. I am satisfied with the performance,” Keitany said.

Last year’s women’s champion Mergia Aselefech of Ethiopia clocked 1.10:02 to rank a distant ninth. Each winner bagged $25,000. Meanwhile, Armyman Deepchand Saharan (1.04:00) finished first among Indian men and overall 17th in the race.

Deepchand, also a 2010 Commonwealth Games probable in the marathon event, was followed by Railwaymen Santosh Kumar (1.05:10) and Soji Mathews (1.05:18), who ranked overall 18th and 19th respectively. Uttar Pradesh’s Sukanya Mall (1.20:11) was the fastest Indian woman who finished 22nd overall.
Two of her statemates Anuradha Singh (1.22:07) and Kamlesh Baghel (1.23:43) finished behind Mall with overall standings of 24th and 25th respectively. Each of the Indian toppers were richer by $4,000.

Results: Men: Overall: Deriba Merga (Eth, 59.54) 1; Eshetu Wendimu (Eth, 1.00.02) 2; Wison Kipsang (Ken, 01.00.04) 3; Tilahun Regassa (Eth, 1.00.37) 4; Titus Masai (1.00.43) 5.
Indians: Deepchand Saharan (1.04.00) 1; Santosh Kumar (1.05.10) 2; Soji Mathews (1.05.18) 3; Arvind Yadav (1.05.36) 4; Ajay Kumar (1.05.38) 5.

Overall: Mary Keitany (Ken, 1.06.54) 1; Ayelew Wude (Eth, 1.07.58) 2; Aberu Kebede (Eth, 1.07.59) 3; Mamitu Daska (Eth, 1.08.07) 4; Peninah Arusei (Ken, 1.08.30) 5.
Indians: Sukanya Mall (1.20.11) 1; Anuradha Singh (1.22.07) 2; Kamlesh Bhagel (1.23.43) 3; Anuja Bijagare (1.25.05) 4; Shashtri Devi (1.26.26) 5.