kiplagat achieves fourth consequetive barcelona half marathon triumph

florenceKiplagat

Kenya’s Florence Kiplagat once again took an overwhelming victory at the eDreams Mitja Marato Barcelona, an IAAF Silver Label Road Race, winning comfortably in 1:08:15 on Sunday (12).

Her time was more than three minutes outside the half marathon world record of 1:05:06 set by her compatriot Peres Jepchirchir in Ras Al Khaimah last Friday, but Kiplagat – who broke the world record at this race in 2014 and 2015 – had stated before the race that she was not targeting a world record.

The windy conditions clearly hampered the athletes’ efforts. Paced by Kenyan Dickson Kipchumba and Spain’s Marc Roig, Kiplagat had requested a steady 3:10 steady pace with them for the first half of the race. As agreed, the trio reached the 5km point in 15:47, 37 seconds ahead of the chasing group formed by USA’s Sara Hall, Ethiopia’s Kuma Dibaba, Ireland’s Fionnuala Mc Cormack and Portugal’s Jessica Augusto.

After covering the second five-kilometre segment in 16:03, Kiplagat reached 10km in 31:50 while Dibaba and Hall trailed behind by 68 seconds, themselves 11 seconds ahead of Augusto and 25 clear of McCormack.

Although Kiplagat’s pace dropped further in the second half, she increased her advantage over Dibaba to 94 seconds. Augusto was in third another 20 seconds back but eight seconds clear of Hall in fourth.

At the tape, the former world record-holder signed her fourth win in a row in Barcelona with a relatively modest – by her own lofty standards – 1:08:15, more than a minute quicker than her winning run in Barcelona last year.

Dibaba finished second in 1:09:49 while Augusto took the third place on the podium in 1:10:36, some 43 seconds ahead of a fading Hall with McCormack completing the top five in 1:11:35.

“I’m satisfied with my win but also a little bit disappointed as the wind has annoyed me a lot,” said Kiplagat, who will turn 30 later this month. “I would have liked to run under 1:06 today but at this early stage of the season I’m not at my peak as I’m still in full preparation for the London Marathon in April. I love to come back to Barcelona every year; I realise people already know me and really appreciate me.

“It’s OK, records are there to be broken,” she added when asked about Jepchirchir’s world record earlier in the week. “I’m now happy for her and we’ll try to regain the record in the future.”

Women's Series: Suburbs Take The Early Lead in the KRU Womens

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Northern Suburbs have taken the early lead in the KRU Womens 10-A-Side series following the completion of the first round at the Kenyatta University on Sunday 5 February.

The 12-0 cup final win over Homeboyz sees The Burbs top the standings with 22 points, three clear of second placed Menegai Cream Homeboyz who are on 19. Top Fry Nakuru are third on 17 points with Mwamba rounding off the top four on 15 points.

The next round of the series takes place on Sunday 19 February at the USIU Ground in Kasarani, Nairobi

Collated Standings After Round 1

1. 1. Northern Suburbs 22pts

2. 2. Menengai Cream Homeboyz 19ts

3. 3Top Fry Nakuru 17pts

4. 4. Mwamba 15pts

5. 5. Standard Chartered Impala Saracens 13pts

6. 6.Comras 11pts

7. 7.Shamas Rugby Foundation 9pts

8. 8.Varsity Warriors 7pts

korir seals ticket to kampala with US title in bend-cross-country-round-up

korir

In stark contrast to the conditions which will await the athletes at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships Kampala 2017 next month, Leonard Korir maintained his unbeaten start to 2017 at the USATF Cross Country Championships in Bend, Oregon on Saturday (4).

On a muddy and icy course surrounded by two feet of snow, Korir won the senior men’s 10km in 30:12 to defeat Stanley Kebenei by three seconds with Shadrack Kipchirchir, who ran in the 10,000m at the Olympic Games alongside Korir in Rio last summer, third in 30:19.

Korir opened his season with a narrow victory over Callum Hawkins at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country before defeating Olympic marathon silver medallist Feyisa Lilesa in another sprint finish at the Houston Half Marathon the following weekend. His third victory of the season guarantees him a spot on the team for Kampala where the USA could challenge for another team medal four years after taking silver in Bydgoszcz.

 

cheptai cruise to almond blossom titles Cross Country IAAF

cheptai

Kenyan Irene Cheptai won the women’s race contest for the third time to lead Üsküdar Belediye to the team crown at the at the European Cross Country Clubs Cup, which doubled as this year’s Almond Blossom Cross Country IAAF Cross Country Permit meeting in Albufeira, Portugal, on Sunday
Cheptai forced the pace from the gun with only Stephanie Twell of Great Britain, the European 5000m bronze medallist, hanging on until she was overtaken on the final lap by Spanish champion Trihas Gebre and Esma Aydemir of Turkey, who wound up finishing second and third behnd Cheptai.

“I’m very happy after winning this competition for the third consecutive year, said Cheptai, who won by 22 seconds.

“I will now go prepare for next month’s World Cross Country Championships. I need to be very prepared for the Kenyan trials, a very tough competition.”

Uskudar Belediye also won for the third straight year, topping Spanish club Bilbao by 10 points. British club Aldershot, Farnham and District finished third

karoki defends title at the Nike Eldoret Discovery Cross Country

karoki

Reigning world cross country and half marathon silver medallist Bedan Karoki ran out to a successful title defence at the Nike Eldoret Discovery Cross Country Championships held at the Eldoret Sports Club on Sunday (29).

Karoki covered the 10km course in 29:54 to win the senior men’s race ahead of Alex Kibet (30:05) and Geoffrey Kipyego (30:07).

“I had prepared well to defend my title and I’m very happy for that. I knew the race will be tough at the start. After the third lap, I took over the lead to win,” Karoki told reporters after the event.

But instead of preparing for a tilt at his first senior title at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships Kampala 2017 in March, Karoki will now turn his attention to the roads. He will make his marathon debut in the London Marathon on 23 April and will run the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon next month as part of his build-up.

Former world junior cross country silver medallist Irene Cheptai prevailed in the senior women’s 8km in 26:29 by five seconds ahead of former world U18 3000m champion Lilian Kasait, 19, who was racing as a senior for the first time.

Bahrain’s Eunice Chumba was a distant third in 27:13 but finished ahead of some well-known names to reach the podium. Gladys Chesire - one of the fastest runners of all-time over 10km with a 30:41 PB - finished fifth in 27:24 while marathon standouts Visiline Jepkesho and Helah Kirop clocked 27:54 and 28:09 to finish ninth and tenth respectively.

World U18 3000m champion Richard Kimunyan won the junior men’s 8km in 23:54 while Sandra Chebet won the junior women’s 6km in 20:42.

On the road to the Kenyan Cross Country Championships next month, Eliud Mwangi won the senior men’s 10km in 29:04 at the Nyanza South Cross Country Championships in Kamagambo on Saturday (28) while Winfridah Moseti, 20, won the senior women’s 10km in 34:45.

Meanwhile Alfred Barkach (30:13) and Vivian Kiplagat (36:02) claimed victories over 10km in the senior races at the North Rift Cross Country Championships in Kondabilet which were also held on Saturday.

REBITU DEFEATS FERNANDEZ IN SAN SEBASTIAN
Youth defeated experience at the Cross Internacional de San Sebastian as world U20 5000m bronze medallist Bontu Edao Rebitu, 19, defeated former European 1500m champion Nuria Fernandez, 40, in the senior women’s race on Sunday.

Rebitu won the senior women’s race in 29:19 by six seconds from Fernandez, who made her international debut at the 1993 European Junior Championships some four years before the Bahraini was born.

There was a double for the small Gulf nation as 1500m specialist Sadik Mikhou won the men’s 10km in 30:01 ahead of teammate and Olympic 5000m finalist Birhanu Yemetaw in 30:08.

Another Olympic 5000m finalist booked his place on the team for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala as Brett Robinson claimed victory at the Australian Selection Trials in Canberra on Sunday.

Robinson, who has already been to three editions of the World Cross Country Championships, won the senior men’s 10km in 29:42 to defeat Stewart McSweyn by three seconds.

Anna Kelly won the senior women’s 10km in 35:07 while Callum McCluskey and Lauren Ryan won the junior races.

Kenya Rugby Union Women's Competition Kicks Off On 5 February

kRUwomen2

The Kenya Rugby Union Women’s 10-A-Side Festival is set to kick off on Sunday 5 February with the first round scheduled to take place at the Kenyatta University.

KRU Age Grade and Women’s Rugby Co-ordinator Nicholas Aballa said, “ The tournaments will be played on Sundays, apart from the final festival which will be held on Good Friday in Nakuru.”

“We will generally have a two pool format during the festival as well as an accumulative points system to determine the overall winner of the series,” he added.

KRU Women’s 10-A-Side Festival

Round 1: Kenyatta University – Sunday 5 February 2017

Round 2: USIU – Sunday 19 February 2017

Round 3: KCB Sports Club – Sunday 5 March 2017

Round 4: Impala Club – Sunday 19 March 2017

Round 5: Nakuru Athletic Club – Friday 14 April 2017

Kenya's Wellington Cup Quarterfinal Ambitions Dashed

wellingtonQuaters

Kenya will play Russia at 1.00am on Sunday morning in the challenge trophy quarterfinal at the Wellington Sevens after finishing third in Pool A action on Saturday morning.They started with a 12-17 loss to Argentina, recovering to beat Papua New Guinea 47-5 before losing their final group game 12-31 to England.

Kenya 12 Argentina 17

Shujaa trailed 12-0 at the break through Matia Ocsaduk’s brace but drew level through tries from Billy Odhiambo and Willy Ambaka, Sam Oliech adding a conversation before Rizzoni Gonzalez killed off the tie, Argentina claiming the result.

Kenya 47 Papua New Guinea 5

Willy Ambaka’s early brace and a solitary Eden Agero conversion gave Kenya a 12-0 lead, William Triang reducing the deficit with an unconverted try for PNG. Agero would score and convert as Shujaa took a 19-5 lead into the break.Innocent Simiyu’s charges would land four tries through Billy Odhiambo, Bush Mwale, Oscar Ouma and Andrew Amonde with Agero and Sammy Oliech adding two conversions each.

Kenya 12 England 31

Shujaa came into this fixture needing a win to reach the cup quarters but soon fell behind to Dan Norton’s converted try before further efforts from Dan Bibby and Tom Mitchell gave England a 17-0 lead at the breather.Willy Ambaka went over the whitewash, Oliech convert for a 17-7 score but converted tries from A.J Harris and Lindsay-Hague saw England lead 31-7. Collins Injera would add a late consolation for Kenya who claimed third placein the pool.

Kenya Claim 8 Points In Wellington,HSBC Sevens World Series

wellington1

Kenya lifted the challenge trophy title, collecting eight points to stay tenth on the log as the third round of the 2016/17 HSBC Sevens World Series, the Wellington Sevens, came to a close on Sunday.

Shujaa were 19-17 winners in the challenge trophy final.

Challenge Trophy Final: Kenya 19 Australia 17

Kenya raced into a 14-0 lead through tries from Sammy Oliech and Collins Injera, Eden Agero sure with the conversions but the Aussies clawed back through Henry Hutchinson’s converted try.

Billy Odhiambo would land Kenya’s third try as Innocent Simiyu’s charges withstood a late Australian rally that saw them land two unconverted tries, Shujaa holding out for the result.

Challenge Trophy Semifinal: Kenya 19 USA 12

Dan Sikuta opened Keya’s account with an unconverted effort but Perry Baker’s converted try gave USA a 7-5 lead at the break.

Eden Agero converted Billy Odhiambo’s second half brace to give Kenya a 19-7 lead before Madison Hughes struck late for the USA, too little to late as Kenya advanced to the challenge trophy final.

Challenge Trophy Quarterfinal: Kenya 24 Russia 5

Sammy Oliech scored and converted his own try for a 7-0 lead, Billy Odhiambo and Willy Ambaka touching down as Kenya took a 17-0 lead into the breather.

Bondarev would score for Russia but Dan Sikuta’s converted try gave Kenya the cushion and the result.

KENYA IN POOL A FOR SYDNEY SEVENS

Kenya has been drawn with South Africa, England and Japan in Pool A for next weekend’s fourth round of the 2016/17 HSBC Sevens World Series in Sydney, Australia.

Bekele and Biwott to face debutant karori at london marathon

biwott

Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele tops the list of world-class contenders announced today for the men’s elite race at the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on Sunday 23 April.

Already a triple Olympic champion and double world record-holder on the track, Bekele became the world’s second-fastest marathon runner of all time when he won the 2016 Berlin Marathon last September.

Bekele missed the world record by just six seconds when he crossed the finish line in the German capital in 2:03:03 after a thrilling battle with former world record-holder Wilson Kipsang. It was the fastest marathon time in the world in 2016 and broke Haile Gebrselassie’s Ethiopian record.

Now Bekele will seek to become only the third Ethiopian man ever to win the coveted London Marathon title and the first since two-time winner Tsegaye Kebede in 2013.

Bekele made his London Marathon debut last April when he finished third behind Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge and Stanley Biwott despite not being fully fit. This year Bekele will have Kipchoge’s course record of 2:03:05 in his sights and perhaps even Dennis Kimetto’s world record of 2:02:57.

“London is the greatest marathon in the world and I would love to win there,” said Bekele. “The field is always the best and victory means so much. After finishing third last year, I know what I need to do to win.”

Biwott, who won the 2015 New York City Marathon, is likely to be Bekele’s main rival as he leads the Kenyan challenge in the absence of two-time champion Kipchoge. Biwott will hope to mark his 31st birthday, which falls just two days before the race, with his first London Marathon victory. He finished runner-up in 2014, fourth in 2015 and second again last year in a personal best of 2:03:51.

Such is the quality of the line-up, however, the leading pair are just two of seven men in the field who have run faster than 2:06. The line-up also includes two marathon world champions, three of the top five finishers from last summer’s Olympic Games, and the winners of the Tokyo, Berlin, Chicago and New York marathons in 2016.

One of the strongest opponents, though, could be a man who is contesting his first marathon. Bedan Karoki, the silver medallist at the 2016 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and 2015 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, will be making his marathon debut. The versatile Japan-based Kenyan has finished in the top seven in the 10,000m at the past four global championships and has a half-marathon PB of 59:14.

Bekele’s compatriots will include Olympic silver medallist and Tokyo Marathon champion Feyisa Lilesa, Dubai and Hamburg Marathon champion Tesfaye Abera, and Tilahun Regassa, who is aiming to make the London podium after finishing fifth and sixth in the past two years.

Meanwhile, Biwott and Karoki will have top-class company in fellow Kenyans Abel Kirui and Daniel Wanjiru. The experienced Kirui, who won the world marathon title in 2011 and 2013, returns to London for the first time since 2012 when he was fifth just four months before taking Olympic silver in the same city. After a number of years without a major victory, he was a surprise winner of the Chicago Marathon last October and will be looking for another strong performance as he seeks selection for Kenya’s World Championships team.

Wanjiru will also be one to watch after he lowered his personal best by almost three minutes to win last October’s Amsterdam Marathon in 2:05:21.

Kirui won’t be the only world champion on show as Eritrea’s young star Ghirmay Ghebreslassie returns to London after finishing fourth last April in a PB 2:07:46. The 21-year-old famously became the youngest global marathon champion ever when he won the 2015 world title in Beijing at the age of 19. He enhanced his status as one of the world’s best when he claimed the New York Marathon crown last November after placing fourth at the Olympic Games in August.

Europe could also have a serious challenger in the shape of Abraham Tadesse who broke the Swiss record last March when he clocked 2:06:40 in Seoul, missing the European record by just four seconds. The Eritrean-born Tadesse went on to win half marathon gold at the European Championships last summer and placed seventh at the Olympic Games a month later.

Britain’s 2010 European 10,000m silver medallist Chris Thompson will be targeting a place on the World Championships team. Thompson was 11th on his debut in London three years ago and finished 16th last year.

Sumgong to defend london Marathon Title

JemimaSumgong

Olympic champion Jemima Sumgong will defend her crown at the Virgin Money London Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on Sunday 23 April.

Sumgong defied the odds last April when she recovered from a bruising fall to beat some of the world’s best in the British capital with a devastating finish. The 32-year-old went on to make history at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games when she became the first Kenyan woman to win the Olympic title in the marathon. Sumgong defeated Ethiopia’s world champion Mare Dibaba in Brazil to confirm her status as the world’s top marathon runner of 2016.

Dibaba, who won bronze in Rio behind Bahrain’s Eunice Kirwa, will be one of Sumgong’s main rivals in London from a field that includes four women who have broken the 2:20 barrier and no fewer than nine who have run quicker than 2:22.

"London is the marathon every runner wants to win," said Sumgong. "I can’t wait to return to defend my title."

The women's elite line-up announced today includes all three medallists from last year’s race, three of the top five finishers from the Rio 2016 Oltmpic Games, four previous London Marathon champions, and the winners at last year’s Abbott World Marathon Majors races in Tokyo, Berlin, Chicago and New York.

The quickest on paper is again Mary Keitany who will be aiming to become only the fourth woman to win the London Marathon three times after completing a hat-trick of New York City Marathon titles last November.

Keitany became the second fastest women marathon runner of all time when she won her second London Marathon in 2012 in 2:18:37. But after finishing runner-up in 2015, the African record holder could only place ninth last April after she was involved in the collision that brought down Sumgong. That cost Keitany a place on Kenya’s Rio team and the 35-year-old will feel she has something to prove.

"I love running in London," said Keitany. "After the sickness I had before the race and the fall last year during the race, I want to show everyone what I can do. My goal is to win the London Marathon for the third time and to demonstrate to everybody that I could have won the Olympic Games last year if I had been selected."

The domestic competition for Kenyan runners will be fierce as the elite line-up also includes Florence Kiplagat, the 2016 Chicago champion and half marathon world record holder who was third here last year and second in 2014; last year’s Tokyo Marathon champion and 2015 world silver medallist Helah Kiprop; plus the Olympic 5000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot who will make her marathon debut at the age of 33.

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Sports Kenya (SK) was founded through the Sports Act of January 25 2013 by an Act parliament as a successor to Sports Stadia Management Board and the department of Sports in the ministry of sports, culture and the arts.

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