Hellen Obiri and Bernard Kibet claim top honours at Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon

ATHLETICS Hellen Obiri and Bernard Kibet claim top honours at Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon

Abigael Wafula 11:55 - 18.02.2023

Other Kenyans in the women's race were Evaline Chirchir and Agnes Ngolo who settled for fifth and seventh places in respective times of 1:07:15 and 1:08:03.

World 10,000m silver medallist Hellen Obiri and Benard Kibet are the winners of the 2023 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, a World Athletics Gold Label road race, on Saturday February 18.

Obiri, a two-time world 5000m champion, kicked-off her season with a spectacular performance which saw her clinch the title in 1:05:05. She improved on her second-place finish last year. She edged out the world marathon champion, Gotytom Gebreslase who finished in second place at a time of 1:05:51.

Also running a well-worked race was Ethiopia’s Ftaw Zeray who finished third in a personal best time of 1:06:04, half a minute ahead of world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei who clocked 1:06:34.

Obiri started to make a move and was 25 seconds ahead at 15km, following her pacemaker through that mark in 45:39. Her lead continued to grow and she eventually crossed the finish line 44 seconds clear of Gebreslase.

Obiri and Gebreslase were part of a pack that passed through 5km in 15:10. By 10km they had broken away from their competition, clocking 30:28 at that point, just ahead of Kosgei (30:31).

Meanwhile, the men’s race was closer, but Kibet still claimed a clear win in 58:45 as he kicked away to beat compatriot Daniel Mateiko by four seconds (58:49).

Kibet and Mateiko were in the lead group that passed the 10km mark in 27:33. Breaking away along with their compatriot Richard Yator, the trio were together through 15km in 41:30 before Yator dropped off.

Kibet kicked and Mateiko could not match his rival’s finishing strength, as Kibet took more than a minute off his personal best time with his winning performance.

Yator followed them over the finish line in 59:37, while Ethiopia’s Gemechu Dida finished fourth in 59:53.

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