Obiri stars in Manchester as Kenyans rule the world
World 5000m champion Hellen Obiri produced a commanding victory Great Manchester Run on Sunday.
Obiri 29, who is planning to double 5,000m and 10,000m at the world championships in Doha later in the year, won the 10km event with a margin of 21 seconds as she hit the line in 31:23. Behind her, Ethiopia’s Ruti Aga clocked 31:44 for a second while two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat finished third in 32:34.
Obiri opened her 2019 season with a top finish at the 2019 World cross country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark before storming to 3,000m victory at the first Leg of Diamond League series in Doha.
“I knew I was in good form, winning the World cross and a Diamond League. So I tried my best to be at the level I want to be” said Obiri said after the race.
World cross country silver medallist Kiplimo of Uganda was a dominant force in the men’s 10km race, winning in 27:31 ahead of Italian Eyob Faniel (28:24) and 2016 European 10,000m champion Antonio Abadia (28:39).
Elsewhere, world 10,000m gold medallist Agnes Tirop defended her Bengaluru 10km road race title on Sunday, finishing the race two minutes slower than her 31: 19-course record from 2018.
Nine women went through the first half of the race in a modest 18:06, more than two minutes down on last year’s split.
Tirop put in regular short bursts of pace during the next three kilometres but they did nothing to break up the group apart from dropping former Kenyan now a Bahrain’s world marathon champion Rose Chelimo.
Eight women were still closely grouped together as they entered the stadium for one final lap of the track. Ethiopia’s Letsenbet Gidey darted into the lead on entering the stadium but with 50 metres to go, Tirop still had plenty in reserve and emerged victorious in a thrilling five-woman sprint for the line.
Tirop won in 33:55 with just two seconds covering the top five. Ethiopian Senbere Teferi was second and Gidey third.
“I would have liked to have run faster and I did my best but no one else wanted to push hard so I was just content with the win,” said Tirop.
Men’s title went to Ethiopian Andamlak Belihu who added the 10K Bengaluru title to the Delhi Half Marathon crown he won seven months ago, crossing the line in 27:56 on Sunday.
In South Africa, Brilliant Kipkoech and Morris Gachanga topped the 2019 Cape Town 12km race. Uganda’s Commonwealth 10,000m champion Stella Chesang went out hard with the intention of breaking Vivian Cheruiyot’s 38: 22-course record from 2015 and led a group of five women through the first 5km in 15:58.
Chesang, Kipkoech, Sofiya Chege and Degitu Azamirew maintained that pace through 10km, reached in 32:00, and then upped their tempo for the last two kilometres. With a strong final 500 metres, Kipkoech out-kicked her opponents to win in 38:05.
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