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Heated Kenyan Duel At Berlin Half

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Apr. 3, 2012
  • Updated Apr. 3, 2012 at 9:04 AM UTC
Denis Koech (left) and Wilson Kiprop in Berlin. Photo: IAAF

A relatively unknown Denis Koech prevailed against the pre-race favorites.

Denis Koech isn’t a name that rolls off the tongue of most distance-running fans, but after Sunday’s race at the Vattenfall Berlin Half Marathon on Sunday, he might be.

Koech, a Kenyan, defeated IAAF World Champion Wilson Kiprop to win the race in 59:14–a personal best for him (his first sub-60 clocking).

“I was not confident of beating the world champion,” said Koech through his translator and rival Kiprop afterwards. ”I’m building my own reputation and not thinking about others.”

Koech is the training partner of Boston and ING New York City Marathon champion Geoffrey Mutai. ”He’s given me the experience of running and how to attack,” said Koech of Mutai.

Wilson Kiprop, who came in second place, had this to say: “I was relaxed in the last kilometre and felt even with 50 metres left I could do it. But it didn’t happen.”

Kiprop is expected to defend his IAAF World Half Marathon title this fall.

For More: IAAF

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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