Eric Kiptanui finishes second in Dubai Marathon, misses out on Sh10 million prize

By Waweru Titus: Friday, January 24th 2020 at 15:15 GMT +3 | Athletics
Athletics - Dubai Marathon - Dubai, United Arab Emirates - January 24, 2020 Ethiopia's Olika Adugna celebrates on the podium after winning gold in the Elite Men's Race with Kenya's Eric Kiprono Kiptanui and Ethiopia's Tsedat Abeje who won silver and bronze respectively. [REUTERS/Christopher Pike]

Kenya’s Eric Kiprono Kiptanui finished second in the Dubai Marathon on Friday.

Kiptanui, who made his 42km debut at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, finished behind Ethiopia’s Olika Adugna Bikila in a time of 2:06:17. Bikila took home Sh10 million.

Ethiopians dominated the race, with 10 of the top 11 finishers, and it was the ninth straight victory for the Horn of Africa country in Dubai.

Dubai Marathon - Dubai, United Arab Emirates - January 24, 2020, Ethiopia's Olika Adugna races to the line to win the Elite Men's Race. [REUTERS/Christopher Pike]

A disappointed Kiptanui said that a stomach discomfort slowed him down when it mattered most. The Iten-based runner, however, vowed to try his luck next year.

“The race was good but at 35kms I started feeling a stitch and couldn’t push more. I tried to maintain my pace and at 41kms I pushed a little bit more and managed to finish second.

“The conditions were perfect and I am sure when I come back next year I will win. I am sure I will run a marathon in 2:02 or below in future,” said Kiptanui.

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Kiptanui, who holds a half marathon personal best time of 58:42, was among Eliud Kipchoge’s 42 pacesetters at the historic INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria, last October.

He is ranked sixth in the world in half marathon all-time records.

The 29-year-old Kiptanui won Lisbon Half Marathon in a personal best time of 60:05.

In the women’s race, Boston Marathon winner Worknesh Degefa Debele of Ethiopia won with a time of 2:19.38.

The women's winner also took home $100,000 (Sh10,000,000).

Ethiopia's Worknesh Degefa celebrates on the podium after winning gold in the Elite Women's Race with Ethiopia's Guteni Shone and Ethiopia's Bedatu Hirpa who won silver and bronze respectively. [REUTERS/Christopher Pike]

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