‘Stay home until it’s time for you to race,’ Doha champion Chepng’etich says
Philip Muchiri in Doha, Qatar
‘Stay home until it’s time for you to race.’
That is the passionate appeal from the newly crowned World Women’s 10,000 meters champion Ruth Chepng’etich in Doha.
She is advising participants in the men’s marathon runners who are set to take on the punishing heat at the Corniche area in Doha Qatar.
The men’s marathon takes centre stage on Saturday night.
Chepng’etich, the reigning Dubai Half Marathon champion clocked 2:32:43 to be crowned the new world champion.
She defeated the then champion Rose Chelimo of Bahrain who clocked 2:33:46 and Helalia Johannes at 2:34:15 who took home Silver and bronze respectively.
The focus now moves to the marathon men’s team final that will be held on Saturday with Chepngetich saying:
“I think they should come to Doha a day before their race because this heat is punishing, but God knows if its our Gold nobody can take it.
She intimated to Citizen Digital that: “I did not know that I would win it but God is great am the new world champion despite not being the favourite to win the race today, after 35 kilometres I noticed no one was chasing me so I pushed and I have the fruits.”
28 out of the 68 starters withdrew because of the grueling conditions in Doha, a good reason for Kenyan head coach, Julius Kirwa to defend his position to leave some athletes at home.
“We have our own plans as team Kenya to make sure athletes arrive here when they are needed, these conditions are harsh, and we have no reason to punish them,” he added.
Midnight temperatures reached as high as 32C with humidity reaching over 70percent.
Organisers decided to go ahead with the event as scheduled despite fears that the conditions might not be conducive for marathon running.
Ethiopia’s marathon coach Haji Adillo Roba witnessed his trio of athletes stop, including Tokyo Marathon winner Ruti Aga.
Kenyan-born Bahrain athlete Ruth Chelimo, 39, was second in 2:33.46 and Commonwealth champion Helalia Johannes of Namibia, also 39, took bronze in 2:34.15.