Chep­chirchir best

World Half Marathon cham­pion, Okombo snatch ti­tles at Fam­ily Bank race

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports - BY STAN­LEY MAGUT @mgt­stan

World Half Marathon cham­pion Peris Chep­chirchir braved hot con­di­tions to se­cure her sec­ond Fam­ily Bank Half Marathon ti­tle yes­ter­day in El­doret.

Chep­chirchir, who won the 2013 edi­tion, clocked an im­pres­sive 1:12.07 to re­claim the ti­tle.

She de­scribed her feat as a good build-up ahead of the Malaysia Half Marathon set for Oc­to­ber 22. She beat Laikipia Half Marathon win­ner Josi­line Jep­kos­gei ( 1:12.27 )with Lucy Cheruiyot com­plet­ing the podium plaic­ing in 1:12.55. Vi­vian Ki­pla­gat fin­ished fourth in 1:13.32 with Agnes Bar­so­sio fifth in 1:14.09.

Naomi Maiyo ( 1:14.28 ), Pas­calia Jep­ko­rir ( 1:14.43 ), Es­ther Ch­e­sang ( 1:14.52 ), Pamela Je­la­gat ( 1:14.53 ) and An­gela Tanui ( 1:15.30 ) closed the top ten places in that or­der.

Chep­chirchir, Jep­kos­gei and Cheruiyot took charge of the race af­ter the 6km mark and upped the pace as they ex­changed the leads in the last kilo­me­tres of the race.

Cheruiyot then dropped af­ter the 15km mark as Chep­chirchir and Jep­kos­gei ran side by side. Chep­chirchir then surged for­ward and widened the gap to breast the tape in 1:12:07.

De­lighted by the vic­tory, Chep­chirchir ad­mit­ted that this year’s edi­tion was tougher ow­ing to the cal­i­bre of the field.

“It was tough in the early stages but my tac­tic was to come out of the pack and then strate­gise for a vic­tory. When we re­mained two in front, I was sure of vic­tory though my com­peti­tor was very strong,” she said.

“I am very happy for the win since this was my sec­ond vic­tory in Fam­ily Bank race.”

Her tar­get is to rep­re­sent Kenya at the World Cross Coun­try Cham­pi­onships next year.

“My in­ten­tion is to run at world cross in Kam­pala and I hope I will make to the team.How­ever, the race to­day was a build up for the Malaysia Half Marathon later this month,” Chep­chirchir ex­plained.

In the men’s cat­e­gory, lit­tle­known Jo­ram Lum­basi Okombo pulled a sur­prise to win the race af­ter beat­ing the big­wigs in­clud­ing the 2014 edi­tion win­ner Matthew Kiso­rio.

Okombo, who comes from Molo stayed in the lead­ing pack that had Kiso­rio, Robert Kem­boi and Fes­tus Che­boi.

At one point, Kiso­rio tried break­ing away from the pack but he was stalled be­fore fall­ing off the pace af­ter the 17km mark.

At the 19km mark, Okombo took the lead be­fore win­ning the race in 1:03.16. Okombo is fresh from win­ning the re­cent Che­mususu Dam 10km race.

“This is a sur­prise for me be­cause I never ex­pected to win con­sid­er­ing most ath­letes here have a big­ger pro­files and were run­ning be­fore their home fans,” Okombo said. “I trained in Iten prior to the race; adapted to the cli­mate and I thank God for my vic­tory.”

Robert Kem­boi fin­ished sec­ond in 1:03.28 while Fes­tus Che­boi sealed the podium in 1:03.41.

Hil­lary Ker­ing ( 1.03.43 ), Barn­abas Kos­gei ( 1:03.53 ), Gideon Kip­sang ( 1:04.02 ), Micah Ch­e­serek ( 1:04.08 ), Vin­cent Ya­tor ( 1:04.12 ), Mathew Kiso­rio ( 1:04.17 ) and David Metto ( 1:04.19 ) fol­lowed in that or­der.

/STAN­LEY MAGUT

Peris Chep­chirchir takes the lead dur­ing the Fam­ily Bank Half Marathon in El­doret yes­ter­day.

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