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Published: Sunday June 26, 2011 MYT 4:20:00 PM
Updated: Sunday June 26, 2011 MYT 7:53:00 PM

Kenyan runners dominate 2011 KL Marathon

KUALA LUMPUR: Kenyan long distance runners as expected dominated the Standard Chartered KL Marathon by sweeping the top three spots in the race that ended at Dataran Merdeka here today.

However, missing from the top three was defending champion Nelson Kirwa Rotich who arrived here as the pre-race favourite after having won the Hong Kong Marathon earlier.

In the men's open category, Kennedy Kiproo Lilan clocked two hours, 20 minutes and 8.07 seconds in the race which started and ended at Dataran Merdeka, today.

Nearly 22,000 participants competed in the five categories contested, namely full marathon (42.2km), half marathon (21.2km), 10km, 5km Fun Run and Kids Dash (950m-3km).

Kennedy's countrymen Cheso Jonathan Kipchirchir and Julius Ndiritu Kariga finished second and third respectively, with times of 2'20:08.82s and 2'20:13.58s.

For his feat, Kennedy received USD17,500 (RM53,208.75) from the Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek while Cheso and Julius took home USD7,500 (RM22,803.75) and USD5,000 (RM15,202.50) respectively.

"It was a good run. This year I had trained for two months before coming here. However, the timing was a little slower from my personal best, 2'19:00s," said the 22-year-old Kennedy who was the runner-up last year.

In the women's open category, Kenyan runners also dominated the top three positions as Rose Kerubo Nyangacha won the competition with a time of 2'34:37.43s, while Rose Jepkemboi Chesire and Ruth Jepkoech Kutol clocked 2'35:11.43s and 2'37:23.93s, respectively.

For her feat, Rose also took home USD17,500 (RM53,208.75).

Meanwhile, Shaharudin Hashim was the best Malaysian finisher with a time of 2'42:36.19s, while R. Muniandy and Fong Thong Lim finished second and third respectively with times of 2'51:08.18s and 2'53:20.94s.

Shaharudin received USD2,500 (RM7,601.25) while Muniandy and Fong received USD1,500 (RM4,560.75) and USD900 (RM2,736.45) respectively.

"I was a little disappointed with my running strategy. I should not have gone very fast in the early stages. I ran fast and that tired me towards the end of the race," said Shaharudin, who is hoping to be selected for the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia.

He added that he had been preparing himself for this year's competition for the last three months under the guidance of his French coach Jean-Pierre Lautredoux.

In the women's category, Emelyne Teo Jia Wei, who runs only for leisure and fitness, won the Malaysian women's category, clocking 3'32:24.69s, to put her more illustrious counterparts to shame and exposing the dearth of women long distance runners in the country. - BERNAMA

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