FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kiprop Recovers from Typhoid to Dash Cheromei's Hopes
While Chisma Lives Up to Expectations in Eventufl VW Prague Marathon
Expectations were confounded as Kenya's Agnes Kiprop won the women's title
in the VW Prague Marathon on Sunday while the hopes of compatriot Lydia
Cheromei of a 2:20 performance or better were dashed. Kiprop, who had
dropped out of the Boston Marathon last month, suffering from typhoid, won
in 2:25:40 from Filomena Chepchirchir and Ethiopia's Meseret Debele.
Cheromei, caught by Kiprop between 38 and 39k, dropped out soon after,
suffering from a leg injury.
Deressa Chima ran to form to win the men's title in 2:06:25, the second
fastest performance ever in Prague. The Ethiopian took command shortly
before 25k and beat the Kenyan duo of Stephen Tum and marathon debutant
When the starting gun went off at 9am in Prague's Old Square, conditions
were ideal for attacking the course record with the temperature at around
10C (48F), barely a breath of wind and no rain forecast. Her own course
record of 2:22:34, set last year, was clearly the target in Lydia
Cheromei's mind. In the race build-up she had given strong hints that a
considerable improvement was on the cards, her morale boosted by training
with the new Kenyan record holder, Mary Keitany.
Her confidence was high as she went through 10k in 32:47, a tempo which
would have taken her to a 2:18 clocking and into the same realm of
performance as Keitany.
Fellow Kenyans Kiprop and Chepchirchir maintained a consistent pursuit . At
halfway, Cheromei was through in an impressive 1:09:22 so the dream of
becoming the seventh woman – and fourth Kenyan - to break 2:20 this year
was still feasible. Kiprop was one minute, four seconds behind and
Chepchirchir a further 22 seconds adrift. The lead was maintained at 30k
with Cheromei timed at 1:40:19 and Kiprop trailing by more than a minute.
The marathon can be a hard task master and the event turned its claws on
Cheromei in the next few kilometres. Kiprop confessed her surprise,
post-race, to find herself drawing alongside her training partner just
after 38k. Kiprop said, "I didn't expect it because I thought Lydia would
win but when I caught her, she said, go on, I'm having problems with my
Kiprop capitalised on the encouragement to win by almost a minute from
Chepchirchir, reflecting that the wind coming off the River Vltva posed
problems in the latter stages. Kiprop and Cheromei's coach, the Italian
Gabriele Nicola, must have been left with mixed emotions at their
Victory marks a remarkable recovery for Kiprop, who dropped out of the
Boston Marathon at 22k on April 16, suffering what was diagnosed later in
Kenya as an attack of typhoid.
"I didn't feel well when I was in Boston, but I received good treatment at
home and now I'm happy for myself, yet, at the same time, unhappy for my
friend and colleague Lydia who was ready to run very well."
Deressa Chimsa carries a considerable amount of muscle on his upper body
for a distance runner and he showed a prize fighter's swagger in breaking
away from a leading group of eleven shortly before 25k. The Ethiopian was
the fastest man in the field on lifetime performances, having brought his
best down to 2:05:42 for eighth place in Dubai on January 27. The group had
gone through halfway in 1:02:54, right on cue for a performance which might
threaten the course record of 2:05:39, set by the Kenyan Eliud Kiptanui two
Chimsa's second surge broke the group down to five and then he assumed the
role of solo runner par excellence, yet with a good 15k still to run. It
was an all-Kenyan chasing pack of marathon debutant Philemon Limo, Stephen
Tum, winner of Marrakech on his debut in January, Julius Arile Lomerinyang
and Nephat Kinyanui.
The front runner continued to look strong as he went through 30k in 1:29:36
with the lead now eleven seconds and growing. A contest of attrition was
developing for the podium places behind Chimsa, as Stephen Tum dealt
Philemon Limo a lesson in coping with the latter stages.
Chimsa extended his lead to a winning 51 second margin, reflecting that
however hard the last 10k felt, he was confident. "I knew I was strong
before the race. The training had gone so well, I could be confident."
Runner-up Stephen Tum was a happy man as well, having improved his winning
debut in Marrakech on January 29 by one minute, 35 seconds.
Philemon Limo, the Prague 2011 half marathon champion, was in rueful mood
afterwards, the effort showing in every sinew as ran the last couple of
kilometres into the Old Square. "Now I know what the marathon is about. I
shall go away and train harder than ever before my next one."
In a year that marks the 60th anniversary since the Czech's own distance
running legend, Emil Zatopek, completed his epic Olympic triple triumph by
winning the marathon in the Helsinki Games, this is a host city and nation
that will particularly appreciate the debutant's reflections.
(Pos / Name / Nat / Bib / Time / Prize Money)
1. Deressa Chimsa ETH #2 2:06:25 15k Euros
2. Stephen Tum KEN #8 2:07:16 pb 7.5k Euros
3. Philemon Limo debut KEN #1 2:09:25 5k Euros
4. Francis Bowen KEN #5 2:10:05 2.5k Euros
5. Nephat Kinyanui KEN #21 2:11:05 1k Euros
6. Julius Arile Lomerinyang KEN #15 2:12:12 800 Euros
7. Wirimai Juwawo ZIM #17 2:14:37 500 Euros
8. Teferei Bacha ETH #23 2:14:37 400 Euros
9. Niguse Chala ETH #20 2:14:41 200 Euros
10. Yared Dagnaw ETH #6 2:14:59 100 Euros
1. Agnes Kiprop KEN #F2 2:25:40 15k Euros
2. Filomena Chepchirchir KEN #F3 2:26:50 7.5k Euros
3. Meseret Debekle ETH #F8 2:27:15 pb 5k Euros
4. Salem Ait ALG #F6 2:27:21 2.5k Euros
5. Misiker Mekonnin ETH #F4 2:29:46 1k Euros
6. Silvia Skvortsova RUS #F5 2:30:27 800 Euros