A round-up of some of the latest news from the world of athletics, including a first official women’s 50km walk world record by Inês Henriques in Porto de Mos
Korir beats Lilesa at Houston Half
One week after winning the Great Edinburgh XCountry, USA’s Leonard Korir scored another big victory after a sprint finish, beating Ethiopia’s Olympic marathon silver medallist Feyisa Lilesa at the Houston Half Marathon. Both athletes were timed at 61:14. Hiskel Tewelde was third in 61:17.
Kenya’s former junior standout Veronica Nyaruai won the women’s race in a big PB of 67:58 ahead of Ethiopian youngster Dera Dida (68:06) and last year’s winner Mary Wacera (68:38). USA’s Jordan Hasay was an impressive fourth on her half-marathon debut in 68:40 ahead of the Boston Marathon in April, finishing one place ahead of Frankfurt Marathon winner Mamitu Daska (69:01).
Kenya’s Dominic Ondoro won the marathon in 2:12:05 from Ethiopians Yitayal Atanfu (2:12:33) and Abayneh Ayele (2:12:44). Britain’s Jonny Hay clocked 2:24:29 for 14th.
Two-time Olympian over 1500m Meskerem Assefa won the women’s race in 2:30:18 from Ethiopian teammate Biruktayit Degefa (2:30:44) with USA’s Becky Wade third in 2:35:57.
Henriques 4:08:25 WR
Portugal’s Olympic 20km race walk 12th placer Inês Henriques made her debut at the 50km distance at the Portuguese 35km and 50km Race Walking Championships in Porto de Mos, clocking 4:08:25 for a time which is set to be the first IAAF official women’s 50km walk world record.
At the IAAF Council Meeting in Monaco last month, the IAAF announced that as of January 1 any performances equal to or faster than 4:30:00 would be accepted as having fulfilled the conditions for a world record. So pending the usual ratification procedure, Henriques’ time will be the world record.
Prior to Henriques’s mark, the fastest 50km time by a woman was 4:10:59 set by Sweden’s Monica Svensson in 2007.
“We achieved the goals we were looking for, which were to be the first Portuguese woman to race the distance and to set a world record,” said Jorge Miguel, Henriques’ coach and the race director of the IAAF Race Walking Challenge meeting in Rio Maior for the IAAF.
Joao Vieira was the best male at 35km, clocking 2:38:40.
Simbu wins Mumbai
Tanzania’s Alphonce Simbu and Kenya’s Bornes Kitur triumphed at the 14th edition of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, winning in 2:09:32 and 2:29:02 respectively.
Simbu, fifth at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, confirmed his rising status in the world of marathon running by hitting the front with 800 metres to go and sprinting away for victory after a duel over the last five kilometres with Kenyan surprise package Joshua Kipkorir who finished second in big PB 2:09:50. Third was another Kenyan Eliud Barngetuny in 2:10:39, a personal best by five seconds. Kenya’s Levy Matebo, the fastest man in the race and one of the pre-race favourites, was one of the victims of his compatriot’s surge just after 30km and drifted back to eventually finish eighth in 2:13:05.
Chaltu Tafa was more than four minutes in arrears but took second in the women’s race in 2:33:03 while Tigist Girma was third in 2:33:19. Ethiopia’s Dinknesh Mekash, the pre-race favourite and fastest women on the start line as well as being the 2014 and 2015 champion, started to struggle just before the halfway point and finished fifth in 2:36:44. With info from the race organisers.
Teferi beats Jebet in Seville
World 5000m silver medallist Senbere Teferi defeated Olympic 3000m steeplechase champion and world record-holder Ruth Jebet over 8.265km at the Cross de Italica in Seville (IAAF CC Permit).
Teferi clocked 25:52 ahead of Jebet (26:05) with Portuguese veteran Ines Monteiro a distant third in 27:29. Ana Lozano was the top Spanish finisher in fourth in 27:38.
Bahrain’s Aweke Ayalew won the 11.075km in 31:36 by six seconds ahead of Eritrea’s Teklemariam Medhin with Ethiopia’s Tafese Seboka third in 31:44.
European 5000m champion Ilias Fifa was the first Spaniard finisher in sixth in 31:56 ahead of Adel Mechaal (32:02) and Javier Guerra (32:13) in seventh and eighth respectively. Jairus Birech was a distant 12th in 32:45.
Arneton jumps 6.57m
French talent Heather Arneton, just 14 years old, improved to 6.57m in the long jump in Eaubonne. She will be 15 this year, but all-time indoors in the under-18 category only two athletes are better (Anu Kaljurand 6.61m back in 1986 and Heike Drechsler, at that time Daute, 6.58m in 1981). Her result is the best ever indoors for her age group. Arneton also clocked 6.54 in the 50m.
Ugandan Cross Country Championships
At the Ugandan Cross Country Championships in Kampala, which was also the official test event for the World Cross, Olympic sixth-placer Joshua Cheptegei won the men’s 10km race in 29:02. Second was Philip Kypieko with 29:24 and third Abdallah Mande with 29:40 just ahead of Timothy Toroitich with 29:42. The 2012 Olympic marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich was fifth.
The women’s 10km winner was Mercyline Chelagat and she clocked 34:41 clearly ahead of Rachael Chebet with 35:16 and Dorcus Ajok with 35:46. Doreen Chesang was fourth in 35:54.
Junior race winners were Jacob Kiplimo (23:25) and Peruth Chemutai (20:20).
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