Kenyans sweep top spots in run

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - BY IM­RAN HILMY

GE­ORGE TOWN: Run­ners from Kenya dom­i­nated the Asics Pe­nang Bridge In­ter­na­tional Marathon (Ap­bim) 2016 by sweep­ing most of the top spots in both the men’s and women’s full marathon open cat­e­gory.

In the men’s full marathon, Bernard Mwen­dia Muthoni took two hours, 27 min­utes and 45 sec­onds to emerge the cham­pion, fol­lowed by his fel­low coun­try­men Joseph Gi­tau Kariuki (2:28:32) and Sigei Barn­aba (2:30:23).

In the women’s full marathon open cat­e­gory, an­other Kenyan, Mar­garet Ni­u­guna, took two hours, 52 min­utes and 10 sec­onds to fin­ish first ahead of fel­low Kenyan, Fri­dah Jep­kite Lodepa, who fin­ished sec­ond in three hours, one minute and 35 sec­onds.

The third place went to pro­fes­sional run­ner from Selangor Loh Chooi Fern who clocked three hours, 30 min­utes and 28 sec­onds.

They took home cash prizes of RM22,000, RM12,000 and RM8,000 re­spec­tively in­clud­ing medals and a tro­phy.

Bernard told re­porters af­ter the run he was sur­prised by his win.

“I felt slow to­day and did not ex­pect to win,” he said.

Bernard, 28, said this was the third time he par­tic­i­pated in the event.

Mar­garet, 46, said she had been tak­ing part in marathons since she was eight years old.

The mother of five is now based in Ka­jang for train­ing.

Mean­while, former na­tional ath­lete Yuan Yu Fang emerged cham­pion in the Best Malaysian Full Marathon Women’s cat­e­gory af­ter she clocked three hours, 25 min­utes and 45 sec­onds.

China-born Yuan also won in the Women Vet­eran’s cat­e­gory.

Ap­bim 2016 at­tracted more than 30,000 run­ners from 85 coun­tries.

Yang di-Per­tua Ne­gri Tun Ab­dul Rah­man Ab­bas was the guest-of-hon­our at the prize-giv­ing cer­e­mony.

Above: The 30,000 par­tic­i­pants set­ting off for the run. Far left: Yuan with her tro­phies; left: Kenyans Bernard (right) and Ma­garet with their mock cheques.

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