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Rotterdam Marathon: Kelvin Kiptum receives special honour as Kenyans falter

Sunday, April 14th, 2024 19:32 | By
The Rotterdam Marathon also established the Kelvin Kiptum Foundation which will target to nurture talents.
The Rotterdam Marathon also established the Kelvin Kiptum Foundation which will target to nurture talents. PHOTO/Rotterdam Marathon

Kenya's long-distance legend the late Kelvin Kiptum was honoured with a minute of silence before the Rotterdam Marathon kicked off on Sunday, April 14, 2024.

Apart from the minute-long silence, bib number one has been retired in honour of the record holder who was due to take part in the Rotterdam Marathon.

"Prior to the race, a minute of silence was held in honour of world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum, who died in February. Kiptum had been due to run in Rotterdam, where he was hoping to become the first man to break two hours for the marathon on a record-eligible course.

"Bib number 1, which had been assigned to Kiptum, was not used on Sunday, and many athletes wore black ribbons in his memory," World Athletics said.

In his memory, all runners at the Rotterdam Marathon wore a black ribbon. Kiptum aimed at breaking the two-hour barrier but this could not happen after his demise.

Kenyans outshined in Rotterdam

Meanwhile, Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands and Ethiopia’s Ashete Bekere emerged as winners of the Rotterdam Marathon. Kenya's Kenneth Kipkemboi, Viola Kibiwott and Sally Chepyego faltered amid stiff competition.

Ashete Bekere crosses the finish line at Rotterdam Marathon. PHOTO/(@MarathonRdam)/X
Ashete Bekere crosses the finish line at Rotterdam Marathon. PHOTO/(@MarathonRdam)/X

Nageeye, a silver medallist, regained his Rotterdam Marathon title he first won in 2022 and improved his national record of 2:04:56 set in that race by 11 seconds.

Nageeye, Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn and Birhanu Legese formed part of a group that followed the pacemakers through 10km in 29:06 before 15km was reached in 43:48.

The leading group reached 20km in 58:31 and the group decreased to seven as 30km was passed in 1:28:09.

They reached the 35km point in 1:42:54, with only four athletes; Nageeye, Walelegan, Legese and Kipkemboi remaining in contention. However, as the leading trio clocked 1:58:12 for 40km, Kipkemboi dropped.

Legese, Tokyo Marathon winner, dropped as Walelegn and Nageeye battled in the final steps of the race. Finally, Nageeye wheeled off and claimed a clear victory in 2:04:45.

In the women's race, Bekere, Sisay Meseret Gola, Chepyego and Kibiwot formed the leading group and passed the 10km mark in 32:42. 

At the 15km point, they remained on a course record pace as they passed it in 48:48, the 20km was completed in 1:05:11 and the 25km covered in 1:21:23.

Bekere looked more energetic as she created an eight-second advantage by 30km that she passed in 1:37:48. The eventual winner reached 35km in 1:54:25 before passing 40km in 2:11:52.

She clocked 2:19:30 ahead of Kibiwot (2:20:57) and Chepyego (2:22:46) to win.

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