Kenyans run to glory, mesmerise Pune


The men's half marathon was won by Melaku Belachew of Ethiopia in 1 hour, 1 minute and 19 seconds. The men's half marathon saw an all-Ethiopian podium as Wabi Teftiye and Dejenee Deggefa finished second and third. Belachew and Teftiye ran a tight race with only five seconds separating first from second.

In the men's 10-km run, Deepak Kumar of India clinched first position with a timing of 30 minutes, 15.9 seconds followed by P Nagendra Rao and Naveen Hooda. The women's 10-km was won by rising star Lalita Babar in 36 minutes 3.3 seconds followed by Swati Gadhave and Nashik's Monika Athre.


Battle of East Africa

Kenyan athletes won the race for the maximum number of podium finishes, though by a very slender margin. Kenyan athletes managed five podium finishes as compared to their geographical neighbours Ethiopia, which got on to the podium four times. Kenyan athlete Luka Kipemoi Chelimo won the men's full marathon while compatriot Kirui Simon Kiprigut came second. Kenyan athletes swept the women's half marathon taking all three podium places.

Ploughing to victory

Chelimo, the men's full marathon winner, is a family man with two children. Chelimo, however, wanted to soak in the glory of his win without sharing it with his family immediately. "This is my first marathon win and I am going to enjoy it on my own. My prize money is going to go to my children and my parents but before that I want some time to myself," he said. The 32-year-old, a fanatical fan of current Olympic champion and world record holder in 800m David Rudisha, says his biggest dream is winning an Olympic medal for Kenya like his idol, almost 10 years his junior. Chelimo who cultivates maize on his field in Eldoret said farming doesn't really give him a lot of time for training. "I can train for may be a couple of hours everyday but not more. Looking after maize consumes quite some time," he said.

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