Victor Chumo from Kenya and Ashete bekere from Ethiopia won their respective titles at the eDreams Mitja Marato Barcelona, a World Athletics Gold Label road race, on Sunday (16). On a perfect day to run, 33-year-old Chumo finished in 59:58 after a thrilling Sprint Finish, while bekere was an overwhelming winner, beating her career by exactly four minutes to 1:06:37.
The men’s race with Kenyan pair Cornelius Kiplangat and Boniface Kibiwot started at a moderate pace as the large main group covered the first 5 km in 14:18 minutes. The rhythm then heated up on the following kilometers, with the leader package reaching 10 km in 28:04 and attacking the track record of 59:44 from 2018 on time. Six men remained in the competition: the Kenyan Chimo and Moses Koech, Stephen Kissa and Mande Bush from Uganda, Abrar Osman from Eritrea and Tesfahun Alkanew from Ethiopia.
After the pacemakers had left, the six athletes took turns with the pacemaker tasks. First Chumo took command, then Osman, the only athlete with credentials under 60 Minutes, pushed hard. Even Kissa moved forward on his first attempt over the distance.
After 15 km the clock showed a promising 42: 24, six men were still fighting against it. But the speed decreased slightly on the following kilometers with a split of 54: 14 and 19 km, which excluded the possibility of a track record. On the last Kilometer, Chumo, Koech and Kissa proved to be the strongest and withdrew to achieve a run of less than an hour.
Chumo prevailed on the tape in 59:58 and cut five seconds off his previous best time with Kissa and Koech in 1: 00: 00, An Interesting debut for the Ugandan and a career best time for the 22-year-old Kenyan by 11 seconds .
“I have been looking for a time under 60 minutes for so long, so I am very happy with my victory and my clocking today,” Chumo said.
Bekere dominated the women’s race, Dereje falters
At the same time as the men’s race, the women’s competition began conservatively, as the top group of four covered the first five kilometres in 15:51 minutes. This package included the pre-race favourite Roza Dereje, her Ethiopian compatriots Ashete Bekere and Asnakech Awoke and Dorcas Kimeli from Kenya. Always run by Daniel Feyisa, the quartet covered 10 km in 31: 32 for a 15: 41 5 km Split, but not fast enough to jeopardize either the world record or the course record set by Florence Kiplagat in a then world record of 1:05: 09. until then, the British Charlotte Arter ran fifth (32: 390 next to the Ugandan Rachael Chebet), while the German Alina Reh ran 22 seconds behind this Duo.
After another 5 km section of 15: 51 for a 15 km distance of 47: 23, the big surprise came when Dereje simply could not live with the pace and had difficulties to leave a Chance for a podium place. At the same time, Bekere, the winner of the last Berlin Marathon in a PB of 2:20:14, started pushing hard and Kimeli soon lost ground. Awoke was able to keep up with her compatriot about 1200 m, Bekeres relentless pace turned out to be too fast. She broke away from Awoke with three kilometers remaining and finished unchallenged in 1: 06: 37 for a massive PB. Awokes 1: 07: 04 was also the best lifetime with over three minutes. Kimeli completed the Podium six seconds behind Awoke in 1:07:10, also a career best for the Kenyans. Dereje finished the race two minutes behind the winner in 1:08:38.
Arter managed to fend off the late challenge by finishing Reh quickly and finishing fifth in 1:10:01, seven seconds ahead of the German.
Emeterio Valiente for World Athletics
Leading Results –
1 Victor Chumo (KEN) 59: 58
2 Stephen Kissa (UGA) 1:00: 00
3 Moses Koech (KEN) 1:00: 00
4 Abrar Osman (ERI) 1: 00: 06
5 Tesfahun Akalnew (ETH) 1:00:10
6 Mande Bush du (UGA) 1: 00: 14
7 Victor Kiplangat (KEN) 1:01: 04
8 Ben Connor (GBR) 1: 01: 34
9 Noah Kipkemboi (KEN) 1: 01: 53
10 Ashenafi Moges (ETH) 1: 02: 16
1 Ashete Bekere (ETH) 1:06: 37
2 asnakech awakened (ETH) 1: 07: 04
3 Dorcas Kimeli (KEN) 1: 07: 10
4 Roza Dereje (ETH) 1: 08: 38
5 Charlotte Arter (GBR) 1:10: 01
6 Alina Reh (GER) 1:10: 08
7 Rachael Chebet (UGA) 1: 10: 13
8 Debora Schoneborn (GER) 1:11: 37
9 Rebeca Schoneborn (GER) 1: 11: 40
10 Miriam Dattke (GER), 1:11:40