Joyciline Jepkosgei Breaks world record with a second off her previous best at the Valencia Trinidad Alfonso Half Marathon


Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei kept her stellar 2017 momentum alive at the Valencia Trinidad Alfonso Half Marathon, taking one second off her own world record* to win the IAAF Gold Label road race in 1:04:51 on Sunday (22).

After Saturday’s technical meeting, it became clear that a serious attack on her current world record was on the cards. A cautious Jepkosgei had commented there that she had been training well since running a world 10km record of 29:43 in Prague and was confident of running fast.

Kenya’s Ezekiel Kemboi was enlisted to pace Jepkosgei at a steady 3:05 per kilometre pace but the early splits proved to be even quicker than scheduled as the opening five kilometres were covered in a frantic 14:52, a time fast enough to finish inside 1:03. The brisk rhythm continued as the 23-year-old was timed at 30:09 at 10 kilometres, still well ahead of her own world record pace.

However, that kind of pace seemed to be self-defeating for a while as Jepkosgei’s rhythm clearly slowed down in the third five-kilometre section. Always running at Kemboi’s shoulder, the multiple world record-holder reached 15 kilometres in 45:59 which put her target in serious jeopardy; when she set the previous world record of 1:04:52 in Prague, she had clocked 45:37 at 15 kilometres.

But, to the delight of the crowd, Jepkosgei dug deep in the closing stages and by the 20-kilometre checkpoint, reached in 1:01:30, she was only five seconds in arrears of her world record goal. With a thrilling run down the final straight, Jepkosgei beat the clock and reached the finish line in 1:04:51 to set her sixth world record this year.

Fancy Chemutai and Lucy Cheruiyot joined Jepkosgei on the podium to get a clean sweep of medals for Kenya. The former, still 3 years of age, ran a massive career best of 1:05:38 to improve over one minute her previous best of 1:06:58. As for Cheruiyot, she finished seven seconds outside her PB in 1:07:30.

Today’s performance was the third women’s world half marathon record set on Spanish soil in recent years after Florence’s Kiplagat previous records of 1:05:12 and 1:05:09 in Barcelona in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Rono successfully defends his Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon title with a Candian all-comers' record


Philemon Rono successfully defended his Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon title on Sunday (22) while giving organisers of this IAAF Gold Label road race something they had coveted for the past three years: a Canadian all-comers’ record.

The diminutive Kenyan crossed the finish line in 2:06:52, a two-second improvement on the record set by Ethiopia’s Yemane Tsegay three years ago in Ottawa. In addition to the $25,000 first place prize money, Rono will return to his training base in Kaptagat with CDN$50,000 for the record.

With temperatures about 11C at the start and a slight breeze coming in off Lake Ontario, the pace was furious from the beginning – 29:29 at 10 kilometres and then 1:02:35 at the halfway point. Three assigned pacemakers were charged with the responsibility of delivering the favoured athletes to at least the course record (formerly held by Ethiopia’s Derissa Chimsa at 2:07:05), but after 25 kilometres the pacemakers were all gone. Shortly after this point, Dickson Chumba, the 2015 Chicago and 2014 Tokyo champion, went to the front with only Rono for company.

To many observers it looked as though Chumba was running according to form and his compatriot might be in trouble. But by 30 kilometres Rono surged and opened up a gap which grew to a winning margin of more than two minutes by the finish. Indeed, a visibly disappointed Chumba stopped the clock at 2:09:11. His mood was in stark contrast to that of the winner.

“The first thing I came here for was to defend,” a smiling Rono said afterwards. “I was expecting the time will come automatically. Today the time came because I was pushing with Chumba. When I went in front, I said, ‘I will not reduce the pace and let me maintain my constant pace’.

“When I passed the remaining metres, I could see I was running at 2:06 (pace) so I was very happy because I had run faster than my personal best and the course record. I was not worried (about Chumba) because when I started running hard I said there is no need to look back. Just focus and when you focus you know you what you will achieve at the end.

Chumba, who ran 2:06:25 in Tokyo earlier this year, complained of a tight hamstring.

Solomon Deksisa of Ethiopia finished third in 2:11:27.

If the men were ambitious in their early pace, the women’s race was insanely quick with Ethiopians Fatuma Sado, Sutume Asefa and Marta Megra Lema duelling with Kenya’s Angela Tanui in the early stages.

Asefa and Lema train together in Gemedu Dedefo’s group and chatted occasionally and shared a water bottle at one point. Hitting half way in 1:11:01 caused what one observer deemed ‘carnage’. One by one they dropped off the pace, leaving Lema alone at the front from 32 kilometres onwards.

Struggling less than the others, she maintained her form with the help of her pacemaker to win the race in 2:28:20, far off the personal best of 2:24:32 she set in Xiamen, China last year. Afterwards she said she had experienced stomach pains in the latter part of the race. Asefa finished in 2:29:26 to claim the second place prize money of CDN$15,000 with Ruth Jebet of Kenya moving through the field to take third in 2:30:02.

Kenya star displays fine form by scoring a hat trick in Vasalund IF's 6-2 win over IFK Lulea,Swedish Devision 1 league

eric johanna

Eric Johanna scored a hat trick in Vasalund IF’s 6-2 win over IFK Lulea in the Swedish Division One League in a weekend that most Kenyans shined abroad.

The former Mathare United midfielder hit home his brace in a span of six minutes early in the first half when he tripled Vasalund IF’s lead in the third and ninth minutes before completing the job at the quarter hour mark.

Linus Malborg also hit a brace for Vasalund IF with the other goal coming from Kenny Parvey.
Back in Africa, Kenyan striker Jesse Were and John Mark Makwatta were both on target for their respective clubs in the Zambian Super League.

Were scored Zesco United’s opening goal in his side’s 3-0 win over Zanaco while Makwata’s lone goal helped Buildcon pick a point against Nakambala Leopards in the two side’s 1-1 draw.

In the American Major Soccer League (MSL), Harambee Stars defender David ‘Cheche’ Ochieng’ was also on target. Ochieng’ scored his maiden goal for New York Cosmos in a 4-4 draw with Jax Armanda.

K’Ogalo beat former champions Ulinzi Stars 1-0 at Kericho Green Stadium to clinch a record 16th title on Saturday

huge win for gor mahia

Gor Mahia are the 2017 Kenyan Premier League champions with four matches to the end of the season.

A high flying K’Ogalo beat former champions Ulinzi Stars 1-0 at Kericho Green Stadium to clinch a record 16th title on Saturday. Rwandan international Medie Kagere gave the new champions the winning goal to hand Dylan Kerr his maiden KPL title in his first season.

Gor Mahia are now assured of representing Kenya in the lucrative Caf Champions League next year. Worryingly, however, Kenyan teams have fared rather dismally at the continental stage, with Sofapaka being the only side that have gone past the second round, in 2010 under coach Ezekiel Akwana.

Despite dominating the local scene, anytime a Kenyan champion steps up to the continental arena, results have always been disappointing, to say the least.

With this in mind, Gor Mahia management should begin to plan how to redeem the image of the only Kenyan team to have won a continental showpiece, when they lifted the African Cup Winners' Cup in 1987.

A Gentrix Shikangwa strike against Ethiopia earns kenya a spot in the next phase of the women Wolrd Cup Qualifiers.


The Kenyan Queens came into the match knowing any win or draw not exceeding 1-1 was enough to send them to next phase of the World Cup qualifier after the two sides battled to a two all draw in the first leg played in Ethiopia.
A Gentrix Shikangwa strike was enough to bundle Ethiopia as Harambee Starlets emerged 2-1 (4-3 in aggregate) winners on Saturday.
It was nervous in the first few minutes, as both sides pushed for an opener and at the same time working hard to ensure it does not leak at the back. But it was the hosts who took the lead.
A fierce strike by Corazone Aquino in the 11th minute gave the hosts an opener; the defenders gave her time to control the ball and before they could shut her down, the ball was in the back of the net.
However, the visitors fought back and leveled matters in the 45th minute courtesy of Markat Feleke, who converted from the penalty spot. It was a goal that ensured the two teams go to the break on level terms but with Kenya holding a slight advantage of progression.
In the 51st minute, Gentrix Shikangwa put the hosts ahead after finishing a well worked move to ensure the Kenya side qualify to the second round of the qualifiers where they will play either Algeria or Ghana.
Kenya’s starting XI: Lillian Awuor, Foscah Nashivanda, Wincate Kaari, Lucy Akoth, Vivian Nasaka, Corazone Aquino, Sheryl Angachi, Maureen Khakasa, Martha Amunyolete, Cynthia Shilwatso and Gentrix Shikangwa.
Substitutes: Judith Osimbo, Veronica Awino, Leah Cherotich, Racheal Muema, Diana Wacera, Stella Anyango, Mercy Airo.
Ethiopia Starting XI: Tigest Abera, Banchayehu Tadese, Kidesi Zeleke, Betelem Kefyalewu, Emepet Adesu, Elemnesh Germew, Melat Demeke, Yemisrach Yakew, Timer Tenker, Aregash Germew, Markat Teleke.
Substitutes: Emiwedesh Virgashewa, Mihiret Melese, Iston Feyera, Zeymeba Sepo, Tenaye Womese, Jeneme Worku, Senaf Wakuma.

Kipchoge Keino Proves he still has good Marathon in his legs:Clash of the Marathon Greats,Berlin IAAF Gold Label


It was a race that had been billed as the ultimate clash between three marathon greats, but only one of them made it to the finish line at the BMW Berlin Marathon on Sunday (24) as Eliud Kipchoge won the IAAF Gold Label road race in a world-leading 2:03:32.

Of the other pre-race favourites, defending champion Kenenisa Bekele had drifted off the pace shortly after the half-way mark before dropping out some 10 kilometres later, while former world record-holder Wilson Kipsang stopped suddenly at 30 kilometres.

Instead, marathon debutant Guye Adola somewhat surprisingly was Kipchoge’s only company for the final 12 kilometres of the race and they were locked in an intriguing duel right through to the closing stages. Kipchoge eventually won the battle of wills, but Adola was rewarded with the fastest marathon debut in history, finishing second in 2:03:46.
Led by a quartet of pacemakers, the three headline acts were joined by Adola and Kenya’s 2011 world silver medallist Vincent Kipruto for much of the first half of the men's race, passing five kilometres in 14:28 and 10 kilometres in 29:04.

A spell of heavy rain at about eight kilometres didn’t completely ruin the chances of a world record, but it certainly made their task more difficult. The rain soon abated, but the conditions remained damp and drizzly for much of the race.

Half way was reached in 1:01:29, exactly on schedule to break Dennis Kimetto’s world record of 2:02:57. Two pacemakers remained at the front of the pack with Kipchoge tucked close behind them in the middle of the pack. Bekele, however, was unable to stick with the pace for much longer and started to drift off the lead pack after 22 kilometres, losing about 10 seconds on the leaders in the space of one kilometre.

By 25 kilometres, reached in 1:12:50, Bekele was 21 seconds off the back of the lead pack. Kipruto was the next to struggle and fell behind as the leaders approached 30 kilometres.

But the biggest turning point came at 30 kilometres as Kipsang, and the final pacemaker, dropped out. The lead pack of four had suddenly been halved with Kipchoge and Adola the only two contenders left in the race.

From that point onwards, the pace gradually slipped further and further off the required schedule for a world record, but that soon became irrelevant. Suddenly, Kipchoge’s main aim was to simply defend his honour of being the world’s best marathon runner and ensuring he won the race. Adola, meanwhile, seemed intent on causing an upset.

The 26-year-old Ethiopian was running shoulder to shoulder – quite literally – with Kipchoge. At times, their close proximity clearly annoyed Kipchoge and on more than one occasion he had words with his opponent.

Adola, however, was working to his own race plan and went on to open up a gap of a few metres on Kipchoge at about the 37-kilometre point. His lead never extended beyond two or three seconds, though, and Kipchoge was able to reel him in as they approached 40 kilometres.

With the clock reading 1:57:08 at 40 kilometres, it was clear that today wouldn’t be a day for world records. Kipchoge, now back at the front, started to make his final move while Adola was showing his first real signs of fatigue.

Kipchoge passed through the Brandenburg Gate and crossed the finish line in 2:03:32, his eighth victory from the nine marathons he has contested to date (not including his unratifiable run at the experimental event in Monza). It was also his second victory in Berlin, following his win in 2015, and the second-fastest time of his career after his 2:03:05 clocking in London last year.

Birhanu Legese and Mercyline Chelangat win Dam Tot DamLoop :IAAF Silver Label Road Race,Germany.


Birhanu Legese and Mercyline Chelangat were the clear and proud winners of the Dam tot Damloop, an IAAF Silver Label Road Race, that covers the 10 mile distance between the Dutch cities of Amsterdam and Zaandam, on Sunday (17).

Edwin Kiptoo was the favourite in the men’s field, the 24-year-old Kenyan who won the race’s last two editions, in 2015 with a 45:19 personal best. Kiptoo was at the front of the leading group of seven for more than 10 kilometres. All eyes were on him.

The podium in the Damloop went to the athletes who waited until the last three kilometres with 23-year-old Birhanu Legese prevailing. Propelled by his solid track speed --the Ethiopian clocked 13:26 at the Athletissima in Lausanne and 13:24 at Zurich’s Weltklasse this season-- cruised to victory in 45:38.

Yenew Alamirev was second in 45:45 with Jiks Tadesse third in 45:51, two seconds clear of defending champion Kiptoo. Khalid Choukoud was the first Dutch athlete, finishing 11th in 47:28.

It’s tradition that the women start 6:04 before the men, the difference between the men’s and women’s course records. The men’s mark of 44:27 was set by Leonard Komon in 2011 while the women’s record of 50:31 was set by Ingrid Kristiansen at the race’s third edition in 1987.

In previous years the overall winners weren’t decided until the waning stages, but this year the women proved easy prey for the men, thanks to sluggish early pacing with the women’s leaders reaching 10 kilometers in 33:20 compared to 28:20 for the leading men. The men’s lead group made up the gap some five kilometres before the finish, leaving the women the forge on on their own.

Mercyline Chelangat, who finished 13th in the 10,000m at the World Championships in London last month and 12th at the World Cross Championships in March, prevailed to take the victory in 53:08.

Violah Jepchumba and Barselius Kipyego Break Course Records at USTI NAd Labem Half Marathon,


Violah Jepchumba returned to winning ways at the Mattoni Usti nad Labem Half Marathon, while Barselius Kipyego retained his title at the IAAF Gold Label road race on Saturday (16).

Both athletes broke the course records with Jepchumba chopping 71 seconds off the women’s mark and Kipyego shaving one second off the standard he set last year.

As she often does, Jepchumba set off at a fast pace and soon detached herself from the rest of the women’s field. Running alongside a few male pacemakers, she passed through five kilometres in 15:15 with a 17-second lead over Nancy Kiprop and Lucy Cheruiyot.

Jepchumba reached the 10-kilometre mark in 30:57, which suggested a finishing time close to 65 minutes. By 15 kilometres, reached in 46:38, Jepchumba’s lead over the Kenyan duo had increased to 50 seconds but her pace was starting to slip.

While her victory was never in doubt, as the 26-year-old Bahraini runner turned the final corner it soon became clear that she would narrowly miss out on breaking the 66-minute barrier. Nevertheless, her finishing time of 1:06:06 was a Bahraini record and a huge improvement on the previous course record of 1:07:17 set in 2015 by former world record-holder Peres Jepchirchir.

It also marked Jepchumba’s first victory since 13 January this year. Despite producing a string of stunning performances on the roads, including a 1:05:22 clocking in Prague, she had been beaten in her past four races.

More than a minute behind, Kiprop and Cheruiyot continued battling to the end. 38-year-old Kiprop proved to have the stronger finish and got the better of her compatriot, crossing the line in second place in 1:07:22, just one second ahead of last year’s runner-up Cheruiyot. Both women were rewarded with big PBs.

Stacey Ndiwa was the only other woman to finish within 70 minutes, taking fourth place in 1:09:09. Summer and winter Olympian Eva Vrabcova was the top Czech finisher, placing seventh in 1:11:22.

Barselius Kipyego feels at home in Usti nad Labem. It was where, in 2015, he enjoyed his first big breakthrough, finishing second in 1:00:59. On his return to the Czech city last year, he smashed the course record by 83 seconds with a lifetime best of 59:15.

So on Saturday, in his third successive appearance at this event, he had no qualms in taking control of the race when he was unhappy with the job the pacemaker was doing.

A large lead pack had passed through five kilometres in 14:03, but Kipyego soon took control and led the field through 10 kilometres in 28:09 with 10 men remaining in the pack.

The 24-year-old Kenyan then upped the pace. By the time he reached 15 kilometres in 42:03, having covered the previous five-kilometre segment in 13:54, he had just two opponents remaining: Kenya’s Josphat Tanui and Tanzania’s Ismail Juma.

Less than eight minutes later, the Kenyan duo managed to drop Juma. Kipyego then broke away from Tanui with one mile to go, occasionally glancing at his watch to see if he was on course to break his own course record.

He timed his finish to perfection and sprinted towards the line to stop the clock at 59:14, exactly one second quicker than his winning time from last year.

Tanui, competing in just the third half marathon of his career, took more than a minute off his PB to take second place in 59:22. Juma, meanwhile, was rewarded with a Tanzanian record of 59:30 in third place.

It was the first time that all three podium finishers at the Usti nad Labem Half Marathon had finished within 60 minutes. In a race that produced the best depth ever witnessed at the Usti nad Labem Half Marathon, a further six men finished within 61 minutes, including Yuta Shitara, who broke the Japanese record with 1:00:17 in eighth place.

Prolific Maiyo retains Minsk Half Marathon title after a grinding battle with the Ethiopian Duo,Bekele and Alem


Kenya’s Hillary Kiptum Maiyo successfully defended his title at the Minsk Half Marathon, winning the IAAF Bronze Label road race by more than a minute in the Belarusian capital on Sunday (10).

He finished in 1:03:19, just 19 seconds shy of the course record he set last year. Meanwhile, Lyudmyla Liakhovich ensured the women’s title stayed in Belarus, winning in 1:13:53 to lead a domestic 1-2-3.

Maiyo was joined in the early stages by Ukraine’s Mykola Lukhimchyk and Ethiopian duo Jima Bekele and Alem Bereket as the quartet passed through five kilometres in 14:11, sub-60-minute pace.

The pace settled down, though, and Maiyo and Bekele managed to open a gap of 16 seconds on Lukhimchyk by the time they reached the half-way point in 31:49. They continued to pull away from the Ukrainian throughout the second half and were still level at the 15-kilometre point, reached in 45:02.

But prolific half-marathon racer Maiyo proved to have the stronger finish and he went on to open up a 64-second gap on Bekele over the closing stages, winning in 1:03:19. Bekele finished second in 1:04:23 with Lukhimchyk taking third in 1:06:13.

Like Maiyo, Liakhovich similarly bided her time before making her move.

The 2012 European 5000m silver medallist, who formerly represented Ukraine under her maiden name of Kovalenko, was part of an eight-woman pack during the early stages along with compatriots Maryna Damantsevich, Nina Savina and Nastassia Ivanova, as well as Ethiopia’s Adawork Sadura, Christine Oigo of Kenya, Latvia’s Ilona Marhele and Uzbekistan’s Sitora Khamidova.

Their five-kilometre split of 16:49 suggested a finishing time comfortably inside the course record of 1:11:44, but they were unable to maintain the required pace.

Olympians Marhele and Ivanova were the first to detach from the lead group as the remaining leaders got to the half-way point in 37:04. The Belarusian trio of Liakhovich, Savina and Damantsevich – the 2014 Minsk Half Marathon winner – had broken away from the rest of the field by 15 kilometres, reached in 52:24.

But Liakhovich shook off the challenge of her compatriots in the closing stages to win in 1:13:53. Savina finished second in 1:14:44 with Damantsevich a further eight seconds in arrears.

Kenyan Women take Top five spots,Keitany and Farah make history at Great North Run Marathon,South Shields


Mo Farah became the first athlete to win four consecutive titles at the Simplyhealth Great North Run, while Mary Keitany became the event’s third three-time winner of the women’s race in South Shields on Sunday (10).

Keitany led from the front, dropping first Kipkirui as the leaders cruised through five kilometres in 16:01, then Olympic 5000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot beyond halfway. Keitany then produced a masterclass in front-running to win in 1:05:59, finishing almost two minutes ahead of defending champion Cheruiyot (1:07:44) with Kipkirui hanging on to finish third in 1:09:52.

Keitany has been in the form of her life this year. The Kenyan started 2017 with a half-marathon PB of 1:05:13 and went on to win the London Marathon in a women-only world record of 2:17:01. She warmed up for the Great North Run by setting a 10km PB of 30:41 in Maine, USA, last month.

Kenyan women filled the top five places with Magdalyne Masai taking fourth in 1:10:39 and Betsy Saina finishing fifth in 1:11:25. Gemma Steel was the top British finisher, placing sixth in 1:11:32.

While Keitany’s winning time was the fourth fastest across the event’s 37 editions, Farah’s victory drew the biggest response from the crowds.

The four-time Olympic gold medallist completed a quartet of victories to match the record set by the late Benson Masya in the 1990s. Farah, though, is the first athlete to win in four consecutive years.

The early stages saw Farah joined by last year’s runner-up Dathan Ritzenhein along with Bernard Lagat, Olympic marathon silver medallist Feyisa Lilesa and twin brothers Zane and Jake Robertson of New Zealand, passing through five kilometres in 14:31 and 10 kilometres in 29:19.

While Ritzenhein took his share of leading, Jake Robertson and Farah broke clear of the rest of the field soon after passing 15 kilometres in 43:19, with Jake leading through the final four kilometres heading on to the South Shields coast.

Farah stayed on Robertson’s shoulder though, and with 400 metres to go he showed his trademark kick to ease home. Farah won in 1:00:06, six seconds ahead of Jake Robertson. It’s the first time since 2011 that Jake had beaten his twin brother Zane, who finished fourth in 1:01:42.

Lilesa finished in between the Robertson brothers in third in 1:01:32. Japan’s Hiroyuki Yamamoto placed fifth in 1:02:03.

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