Kiptanui shatters course record in Prague marathon

13:28, May 10, 2010      

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Eliud Kiptanui of Kenya won the Prague marathon, an IAAF Silver Label Road Race, in 2:05:39 Sunday morning to rocket him into the top 20 marathoners in history.

His time is sixth fastest in the world this year, and the 17th all-time on a list led by Haile Gebrselassie, with 2:03:59, on the rapid Berlin course.

Kiptanui, 21, won his only previous marathon in Kenya four months ago in 2:12:17.

Yemane Tsegay of Ethiopia, was second in 2:07:11, and Nicholas Kipruto Koech of Kenya was third in 2:07:23.

All top three ran under the previous record of 2:07:48, set last year by Kenyan Patrick Ivuti, who suffered from injuries this year and only finished 19th in 2:21:20.

In the women's field, Kenyan Helena Kirop dominated the race, breaking away at halfway and winning in 2:25:29, over a minute faster than Italian Maura Viceconte's record of 2:26:33 set back in 2001.

Kiptanui ran away from the last of his rivals after the 35km mark of the 42.2k race, when race favourite Tsegay, fourth in the IAAF World Championships last summer, dropped off the pace into fifth place.

"I was expecting a better time than 2:12," said Kiptanui, "I thought I could do 2:08, 2:09, but 2:05 is incredible, I'm very happy."

Despite fighting back to gain second place, Tsegay did not disguise his disappointment. "Some people might think 2:07:11 is a good time," the 25-year-old Ethiopian said, "but I'm not happy with this time. What I think is a good time is 2:05."

In contrast, debutant Koech was overjoyed with his 2:07:23. "I ran well in the half-marathon here, it's my favourite course, I'm very happy because it was my first marathon."



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