By Jonathan Komen
Jemima Jelagat Sumgong yesterday won the Rotterdam Marathon race in 2:23:27 as kenyan men lost the plot leaving Ethiopia’s Tilahun Regassa to lead a 1-2 sweep.
Jelagat, a runner-up at the Boston Marathon last year with a personal best of 2:28:32, was too good for second placed Abebech Afework of Ethiopia (2:23:59) and Hilda Kibet, a former Kenyan from Kapchorwa village in Keiyo South, who gave Dutch fans the silver lining and something to cheer on clocking 2:26:42.
Men’s champion Ethiopia’s Regassa broke away around six kilometers from the line to finish alone in just his second race over the distance. Ethiopians clinched the Dutch port city 42km race for the second year in a row, breaking Kenyan dominance.
Last year, title Ethiopians Yemane Adhane and Tiki Gelana carried the men’s and women’s titles. Their superlative showing came ahead of the 117th Boston Marathon this evening (6:30pm East African time).
Regassa ran away from a leading pack of four runners and blew kisses to the crowd down the Coolsingel final straight in a time of 2 hours, 5 minutes, 38 seconds.
Getu Feleke was second for the second straight year in 2:06:45, and Sammy Kitwara of Kenya finished third in 2:07:22.
Kitwara, an alumnus of Embomir Primary and Kerio Valley Secondary Schools, came third in 2:07.22.
Former winner Wilson Chebet, with a brilliant 2:05.27 at the 2010 Rotterdam Marathon mark, disappeared off the radar as Berlin marathon bronze medallist Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor came fourth in 2:09.12.
Regassa said he suffered stomach cramps after drinking too much water.
Jemima Jelagat Tilahun Regassa