Kenyans Chebet and Ongori Win In Rotterdam

Wilson Chebet won the Rotterdam Marathon with a world-leading time. Photo:

Chebet (2:05:26) runs fastest time in the world so far this year.

Written by: David Monti

(c) 2011 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

In tight, two-way races, Kenyans Wilson Chebet and Philes Ongori won today’s ABN AMRO Marathon Rotterdam in sunny, humid, and slightly warm conditions.

Chebet, and compatriot Vincent Kipruto, were the only two men left after an aggressive early pace –just under world record schedule through 20 kilometers– shattered the field.  After the last pacemaker dropped at 35 kilometers, Chebet and Kipruto ran side by side, holding a more moderate 3:00/kilometer pace. At 41.5 kilometers, Chebet accelerated, and Kipruto was unable to respond. Chebet was able to coast to victory on the Coolsingel, stopping the clock in a personal best and world-leading 2:05:26 (unofficial) to get the win. Kipruto finished six seconds back.

No other men broke 2:08 in Rotterdam today. Third place went to Ethiopian Chala Dechase in 2:08:47, followed by Eliud Kiptanui (2:09:07).

The women’s contest played out in a similar fashion. Ongori, making her marathon debut, followed Dutchwoman Hilda Kibet and a male pacemaker closely throughout the entire course. The pair stayed together through 40 km (2:17:00), then seconds later Ongori made her move for victory. Kibet could not pick up her pace, allowing Ongori to pull away for the win in 2:24:19 (unofficial) to Kibet’s 2:24:26. Kibet had to be pleased, however, with her two-minute personal best.

Unfortunately, a male competitor interfered with Ongori’s line to the finish tape. Officials motioned for him to get out of the way, but he threw up his arms and ran through the women’s finish tape, ruining the finish photo.

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