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Bhopal woman wins Rajkot half-marathon

Powered by a solid start, Yadav steamed home in 1 hour, 19 minutes, 50 seconds as crowd cheered her on near the finish line at the Athletics Ground in Race Course of Rajkot.

By: Express News Service | Rajkot |
February 6, 2017 4:31:26 am
 rajkot international marathon, bhopal woman wins rajkot marathon, rajkot marathon winners, vadodara marathon winners, gujarat marathon, gujarat news Manju Yadav receives medal from Gujarat Municipal Finance Board chairman Dhansukh Bhanderi, in Rajkot on Sunday. Express

MANJU YADAV, a 23-year-old woman from Bhopal, outpaced two international women athletes and pre-race favourites to clinch the title in half-marathon at the Rajkot Marathon, 2017 even as other Indian racers also made their way on the leader-boards dominated by Kenyans and Ethiopians, in Rajkot on Sunday. Powered by a solid start, Yadav steamed home in 1 hour, 19 minutes, 50 seconds as crowd cheered her on near the finish line at the Athletics Ground in Race Course of Rajkot. Hargewoin Mengistu Tirunehe, the pre-race favourite from Ethiopia, with a career best timing of 1:33 hours, and Brigid Jereno Kimitwai of Kenya, the first runner-up here last year, kept their pace with Yadav for most part of the race. However, they faded away in the last stretch of the race as Yadav found the extra drive to keep going.

“After finishing second at Delhi Marathon last year, I had grown in confidence. This is my first race of the season and I was fresh. The timing could have been better if not for hurdles on the route,” Yadav, who trains at TT Nagar Stadium in Bhopal, said.

On her way to winning the title of women’s half marathon in Rajkot, Yadav also set a new race record. Her timing of 1:19:56 is 93 seconds off the mark of 1:20:43 set by Estegenet Mola Zegeye of Ethiopia at the inaugural Rajkot Marathon in 2016.

For Brigid, it was a heartbreak for the second consecutive year in Rajkot as she finished second this time round also despite improving her performance over last year. The Kenyan crossed the the line in 1:21:17, more than a minute off her 2016 time of 1:22:34. But that was around two minutes slower than Yadav’s. Hargewoin had to be satisfied with the fifth position with a timing of 1:29:08, around 10 minutes adrift the winner. Poonam Singh and Sita Sarel came third and fourth runners-up, with the timings of 1:23:48 and 1:26:56 respectively.

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In men’s category, Hosea Anesomuk Nailel of Kenya bagged the top honours by coming home in 1:06:55, pipping Ethiopian rival Habtamu Tsema Chukala and compatriot Vincent Kiprotich Koech. Hosea said the victor was sweet after finishing fourth at Pune International Marathon last Sunday where he had run full marathon, but had preferred to run half-marathon here. But his timing was around three minutes more than 1:04:02 mark set by Simion Kiplagat of Kenya here last year. While Habtamu was fourth to crossed the line, Vincent was distant seventh. Vishnu Lal Dangi and Mohan Damor of India finished second and third as they finished the race in 1:07:01 and 1:07:33 respectively.

But sanity prevailed in full marathon, which the city was hosting for the first time, as Kenyans and Ethiopians bagged top honours. Gladys Jepkechei Tarus of Kenya won the women’s title as she rallied home in 1:44:07 and was followed by Brtukan Adeba Berihun of Ethiopia, who finished the race in 1:45:24.

In the men’s full marathon, Kenya’s Philip Yiego Kipkurgat faced tough competition from fellow Kenyan Edwin Cheruiyot Rutto. Initially, Rutto was leading but 37-year-old Kipkurgat overtook him after 25 km. The younger Rutto kept pace with the leader, but Kipkurgat edged him at the finish line and came home in 2:19:54. Rutto crossed the line three seconds later. Mathew Kipkorir Lel of Kenya came third. Yihune Tilahun Enyew of Ethiopia was forth in the race.

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First published on: 06-02-2017 at 04:31:26 am
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