Kenyan Daniel Wanjiru and Ethiopian Worknesh Degefa take victories in the men and women races at the 2015 Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon.
Daniel Wanjiru stormed to a first major career win, when he took the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon. The 22 year-old Kenyan clocked a personal best of 59:51 with two other runners achieving times inside the hour mark.
Wilfred Murgor took second in 59:57, just edging out fellow-Kenyan Leonard Komon who was given the same time.
There was great depth in both the men’s and the women’s races. Ten men ran times faster than 61 minutes and five women finished inside 70 minutes. 12,500 runners entered the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon, which is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.
“The line-up here in Prague today was so strong that it felt like a championship race, it was really tough. I learned a lot in this race,” said Daniel Wanjiru, who was third in Prague a year ago with 59:59 and then impressed with a second place earlier this year in Ras Al Khaimah (UAE).
“This victory gives me great motivation for the future.”
After regaining second place with a few hundred metres to go, Komon then just missed out on the runner-up spot, beaten by Murgor. But he was not disappointed with his race.
“This was an interesting race and a great competition. Everyone was really in good form. It is my first time in Prague and coming in third is fine for me,” said Komon.
Ethiopian double triumph in women's race
The women’s race was also fast with five women forming an initial leading group. Three of them then passed the 10k point in 31:56. Ethiopians Worknesh Degefa, Yebrgual Melese and Afera Godfay had already dropped Lucy Kabuu.
The Kenyan, the fastest in the field with a PB of 66:09, had indicated before that she might not be in top shape after the loss of her fater. Kabuu finally finished in sixth place with 70:25.
Godfay was the next one who could not hold on to Degefa while Melese struggled. Shortly before the 15 k mark 24 year-old Degefa, who had won last year’s Lisbon half marathon, was all on her own.
Despite improving her personal best by 35 seconds and achieving the fifth fastest time in the world this year Worknesh Degefa had hoped for more. “My goal was to run a time between 66 and 67 minutes.
But it was a hard race,” said the Ethiopian. “It was not only the tough competition but also the wind. And then there were sections of cobblestones which I found difficult to run on.”
1. Daniel Wanjiru KEN 59:51
2. Wilfred Murgor KEN 59:57
3. Leonard Komon KEN 59:57
4. Nicholas Bor KEN 60:09
5. Adugna Takele ETH 60:26
6. Amanuel Mesel ERI 60:26
7. Teshome Mekonen ETH 60:27
8. Geoffrey Ronoh KEN 60:28
9. Felix Kandie KEN 60:42
10. Bernard Bett KEN 60:43
11. Peter Kirui KEN 61:17
1. Worknesh Degefa ETH 67:14
2. Yebrgual Melese ETH 68:21
3. Diane Nukuri BDI 69:33
4. Viola Jelagat KEN 69:42
5. Afera Godfay ETH 69:51
6. Lucy Kabuu KEN 70:25
7. Lisa Nemec CRO 70:39
8. Lineth Chepkurui KEN 72:08