Kenyans rule the world: Marius Kimutai leads his cousin Felix Kirwa in conquering the Dutch City

ATHLETICS-MARATHON-NED Kenya's Marius Kimutai poses on the podium with his trophy after winning the men's race of the 37nd edition of the Rotterdam Marathon in Rotterdam, on April 9, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ANP / Marco DE SWART / Netherlands OUT

Kenyans lead the way in Rotterdam and Vienna City marathons

Kenyans claimed a big slice of the glory in spring city marathons in Rotterdam and Vienna City.

Yesterday’s victories, which come ahead of next week’s Boston Marathon (April 17) and London Marathon (April 23), produced tongue-wagging shows as Athletics Kenya gears up to name Kenya’s marathon team to the IAAF World Athletics Championships in London, United Kingdom, on August 4-12.

But it was a spectacular sight to behold in the Paris Marathon, where couple Joseph Lonyangata and Purity Cherotich chalked up brilliant wins – after each finished fourth at the Chicago Marathon last October.

A similar script resonated in the Dutch Port City of Rotterdam as Marius Kimutai led his cousin, Felix Kirwa, the younger brother of Bahrain’s Olympic marathon winner Eunice Kirwa, to victory.

That was a re-enactment of last week’s 1-2 sweep by siblings Mathew Kisorio and Peter Kimeli at the Seoul Marathon in Korea.

Kimutai clocked 2:06.04 to win the NN Rotterdam Marathon. Kimutai knocked almost a minute off last year’s 2:06.11 mark set by Marius Kipserem, the winner of the 2015 Hefei Marathon (one of the three Chinese marathons).

Lawrence Cherono (2:06.21), Laban Korir (2:06.25), Festus Talam (2:07.09), and Lucas Rotich (2:07.19) completed the top five finish. Gezahegn Woldaregay (2:07.29), Felix Kirwa (2:08.12), Philemon Rono (2:09.22), and Somalia-born Dutchman Abdi Nageeye (2:09.34) sealed the top-10 spots.

“It’s a big day for me here. Although it was hot, I felt from the word go that I was going to win the race,” said Kimutai.

“We train with Felix Kirwa and Eunice Kirwa in Kapsabet and we kept on encouraging each other.”

Abdi, who trains under Global Sports Communications, said: “I am happy to record under 2:10. I will now focus on the World Championships.”

In the women’s race, Ethiopia’s Meskerem Assefa (2:24.18) won ahead of Eunice Chumba (2:24.27) and Lucy Karimi (2:25.17).

Jane Seurey (2:26.29), homegirl Ruth Van Der Meijden (2:31.15), Morocco’s Boulaid Kaouter (2:32.50), and Hellen Chepkorir (2:35.55) completed the top five.

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