Jackline Chelal victorious as men disappoint in Zurich Seville Marathon

© Zurich Seville Marathon Facebook

ATHLETICS Jackline Chelal victorious as men disappoint in Zurich Seville Marathon

Abigael Wafula 12:23 - 19.02.2023

Chelal was Kenya's sole representative in the women's field.

Jackline Chelal on Sunday, February 19, destroyed a strong field of athletes to win the Zurich Seville Marathon which saw her set a new personal best time of 2:20:29.

Debutant Alia Mohamed of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) looked poised in the first 20km of the race as she led all through but was eventually overpowered by Ayana who took the lead at the 25km mark.

Chelal, who was laid back in the better part of the race opened a gap between her and her closest challenger, Ethiopia’s Aberu Ayana, at the 38km mark.

Passing through the 40km mark, Chelal looked strong and at that point, she was in a class of her own as she ran to cut the tape. Ethiopian duo of Ayana and Urge Soboka settled for second and third places in respective times of 2:21:54 and 2:23:05.

On her part, Mohamed fizzled out to a distant ninth place finish in 2:27:08.

In a post-race interview, Chelal said: “My race was okay because I was well prepared for it. I am happy with the win."

© Mezzo Management Group Facebook

The men’s race was however disappointing for the Kenyan contingent as Ethiopians took the first three positions with the first Kenyan crossing the finish line fifth (Bethwel Chumba- 2:05:42).

The trio of Gadisa Birhanu, Kebede Tulu and Mekuant Ayenew took the first three positions in respective times of 2:04:59, 2:05:18 and 2:05:23.

Other Kenyans in the race included Enock Onchari who looked strong for a podium finish but finished sixth (2:05:46) behind Chumba. Douglas Kipsang and Wilfred Kimeli placed ninth (2:07:11) and 10th (2:07:22) respectively.