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Monday June 29, 2009

Kenyan runners rule KL Marathon

KUALA LUMPUR: Kenyans runners ruled in the inaugural Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon yesterday, sweeping the top three places in the men’s elite category.

Julius Karinga won the race in 2’17:02 followed by Nelson Kirwa Rotich (2’18:24) and Armon Kemei Kipchichir (2’18:56).

“The win today was a bit of a surprise because it was my first win in my first marathon participation.

Catch us if you can: Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2009’s Kenyan winner Julius Karinga (centre) posing with his compatriots, runner-up Nelson Kirwa Rotich (right) and third-placed Armon Kipchichir Kemei (left). — LOW LAY PHON / The Star

“The course was quite easy with very few climbs but the condition was a little bit hot and humid,” said Karinga, whose effort was worth US$20,000.

In the Malaysian men’s category, Laos SEA Games hopeful Shaharudin Hashim had to be content with second place behind Muniandy Ramadass. Shaharudin clocked 2’39:52 while Muniandy crossed the finish line in 2’31:52 to win US$2,500.

The time Shaharudin clocked was not good enough to win a place in the team on merit for the Games. The qualifying time is 2’26:28.

More than 12,500 participants took part in yesterday’s event, which also saw four other categories of races — half marathon, 10km, 5km Fun Run and the Kids Dash.

Race director Hemant Dua said that the event was a huge success.

“I see people enjoying themselves in a carnival-like atmosphere. The event has the potential to grow even bigger next year if we have the chance to organise it again,” he said.

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