Karoki, Chemutai seal blazing wins at RAK Half
Olympian and IAAF World Half Marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki set a new course record at the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon held on Friday morning at the United Arab Emirates as Fancy Chemutai agonizingly missed on the world record by only two seconds.
En route to his victory, Karoki shattered the nine-year old course record set by countryman Patrick Makau of (52:52) by 10 seconds and as well as lowering his personal best from 59 minutes and 10 seconds to 58.42 as he successfully defended the crown he won a year ago in the same city.
Karoki who is in team Kenya for World Half Marathon was followed by Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer who clocked 59.00 with Kenya’s Alex Kibet finishing second runners up in 59.06 and thereafter it was an all-Kenyan affair as Joram Lumbasi finished fourth in 59.36 leading other five compatriots who took top nine positions.
Joram Lumbasi who finished fourth in his maiden appearance told Citizen Digital it was a nice build towards the World Half slated for March 24 in Valencia, Spain.
“I think for me it was a nice outing since I have now learnt what I will have to polish in preparation for the World Half,” he said.
In the women race, Kenyans dominated the proceedings with eight Kenyans making the top 10, Chemutai who will also be representing Kenya in World Half put in a strong performance and missed the world record of 1 hour 04minutes and 51seconds set by fellow Compatriot Joyciline Jepkosgei by a whisker as she clocked 1.04.53 seconds ahead of 2011 champion Mary Keitany who finished first runners up two seconds later and Caroline Kipkurui settled for the third spot in 1.05.07.
Joan Chelimo Melly finished fourth in 1.05.37 with the World Half marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei settling for the fifth spot in 1.06.46 followed closely by Honolulu marathon champion Brigid Kosgei who came in a second later.
1 Bedan Karoki 58.42
2 Jemal Yimer 59.00
3 Alex Kibet 59.06
4 Jorum Lumbasi 59.36
5 Morris Gachaga 59.36
6 Wilfred Kimitei 59.40
7 Edwin Kiptoo 59.54
8 Bernard Kimeli 1.00.16
9 Vincent Rono 1.00.24
10 Lelisa Desisa 1.00.28
1 Fancy Chemutai 1.04.53
2 Mary Keitany 1.04.55
3 Caroline Kipkurui 1.05.07
4 Joan Chelimo Melly 1.05.37
5 Joyciline Jepkosgei 1.06.46
6 Degitu Azimeraw Asires 1.06.47
7 Brigid Kosgei 1.06.49
8 Gladys Cherono 1.03.34
9 Helen Tola Bekele 1.07.47